EFCC charges four to court over land scam

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The presiding judge adjourned the court case to June 26.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Thursday, arraigned the quartet of Ibrahim Kamba, Steven Imokhe, Hassan Argungu and Ibrahim Mohammed Bashir before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Apo, Abuja, on a 13-count criminal charge of conspiracy, stealing, forgery, impersonation, criminal conversion and obtaining under false pretence.

When the charges were read to them, a translator in Hausa language, Bala Mohammed, who works within the court, translated the charges to the first accused, Mr. Kamba.

One of the charge reads, “That you Ibrahim Mohammed Kamba, Ibrahim Mohammed Bashir, Steve Imokhe and Hassan Argungu on or about the 25th July, 2010 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, agreed amongst yourselves to do an illegal act to wit: obtain titled documents under false pretences and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 8(a) and punishable under Section 1(3) of the Advanced Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, 2006”

The accused persons pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

Counsel to the 1st accused person, Hassan Liman, prayed the court to grant the accused person bail, as he stated that the administrative bail given to the accused by the EFCC should be allowed to continue.

Counsel to the 2nd, 3rd and 4th accused persons also aligned themselves with the argument of the counsel to the 1st accused person.

Prosecution Counsel, Cosmos Ugwu, explained that the issue of administrative bail is a process that is employed pending the arraignment of accused persons, once accused are properly arraigned before the court, the administrative bail lapses and that is why a formal application has to be brought before the court.

The judge, Abba Mohammed, however, granted bail to the 1st accused persons in the sum of N20 million with one surety who must be a member of the House of Representatives.

For the 2nd accused person, the judge granted bail in the sum of N20 million and three sureties in like sum. The sureties, according to the judge, must be civil servants of not less than grade level 12 officers while the 3rd accused person was granted bail in the sum of N10 million with two sureties.

While adjourning the case to June 26 for commencement of trial, the judge ruled that the 4th accused person who had been on the run should be remanded in Kuje Prison.

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