Wednesday, March 2, 2016 1:14 pm
Justice Anwuli Chikere of the Federal High Court, Abuja will rule tomorrow whether to grant bail to Nigeria’s former Interior Minister, Abba Moro and a deputy director in the Ministry, F.O Alayebami.
Both, along with others, were facing an 11 count charge of abuse of procurement process, diversion of public funds and obtaining money under false pretences, a fall out of their involvement in the fatal immigration recruitment exercise in which 19 job seekers died.
Justice Chikere ordered the two men remanded at Kuje Prison on Monday. And both were sent back to jail, after the judge announced that the ruling will be delivered on Thursday.
The two men and their alleged accomplices pleaded not guilty to the charge filed against them and four others by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Another defendant in the case, a permanent secretary in the ministry at the time the offenses were committed, Anastasia Daniel-Nwobia, who also pleaded not guilty was however granted administrative bail while the fourth defendant, Mahmood Ahmadu, was said to be at large.
In the 11 count charge, the EFCC had accused the defendants and a firm, Drexel Tech Nigeria Ltd, of defrauding and allegedly collecting N676.6 million from 676,675 job seekers in the fatal Nigerian Immigration Service recruitment exercise in 2014.
Moro, Daniel-Nwobia, and F. O Alayebami, and one Mahmood Ahmadu (at large), and Drexel Tech Nigeria Ltd, are being accused of defrauding 676, 675 Nigerian applicants of N676,675,000.
According to the anti graft agency, N202,500,000 of the amount was spent on buying No. 1, Lahm Crescent, Maitama, Abuja while N120, 100,000 was used to upgrade No.2, Sigure Close, Off Monrovia Street, Wuse II Abuja.
The commission said the recruitment firm, Drexel Tech Nigeria Limited and Mahmood Ahmadu converted N101, 200,000 to US dollars for personal use.
The accused were also alleged to have contravened the Public Procurement Act, No. 65 of 2007 in the contract awards by not following the necessary procedure laid down by the government.