The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC has arraigned the duo of Essien Ekanem, a Kaduna lawyer and Murtala Shariff, before Justice Tukur Muazu of Kaduna State High Court on a 9-count charge bordering on conspiracy, Criminal Breach of Trust and Obtaining Money under False Pretence.
Shariff who is serving two-year jail term in a case of Forgery preferred against him by the EFCC, allegedly conspired with Ekanem and four others currently at large, forged document and sold a plot of land located at 5 Kwato Road, Unguwar Rimi GRA, Kaduna, belonging to Col. A. B. Umar (deceased) , to one Alhaji Ibrahim Idris of No. 6 kwato Road, Unguwar Rimi GRA, Kaduna at the cost of N64,000,000.00.
Count one reads: “That you Murtala Shariff Ahmed (a.k.a Mohammed Shariff Ibrahim, Muhammadu Sharif), Essien Ekanem Cletus Iliya, , David Michael (at large), and Joel (at large) sometime around 2nd August, 2010 and 21st September, 2011 in Kaduna within the jurisdiction of the High Court of Kaduna State conspired among yourselves to commit an unlawful act with: obtaining a total sum of N64 million only under false pretences and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 8 (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 8 (c) of the same Act”.
The accused persons pleaded “not guilty” to all the counts and counsel to EFCC, Nasiru Salele urged the court to fix a date for trial.
Justice Muazu however adjourned the case to 14 April, 2016 to enable the prosecution to arrest those at large or to apply for separate trial.
He also granted the second accused person bail in the sum of N1m and one well known surety within the jurisdiction of the court.
The first accused person, already serving jail term, is to be brought on the next adjourned date from prison for commencement of trial.