The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned two alleged fraudsters, Sanusi Nalado and Sani Ahmed, before Justice B.O. Quadri of the Federal High Court, Gombe on charges of counterfeiting and altering of the American dollar as well as obtaining money under false pretences.
Mr. Nalado’s road to court began in January 2010, when he approached one Mohammed Toungo, a Gombe-based retired civil servant, and told him that he had strong ties to an Islamic foundation based in Saudi Arabia who are willing to help Mr. Toungo with funds to propagate his da’awah projects by building mosques, schools, vehicles, books, etc for him.
However, Mr. Nalado requested Mr. Toungo to pay some money for processing of registration documents and logistics into a Unity Bank account number in Kaduna bearing the accused’s name. From time to time, Mr. Nalado kept coming back and asking for more money to meet one obligation or the other, all in the guise of facilitating the receipt of the expected funds from Saudi Arabia.
Calls were also made to assuage and reassure Mr. Toungo that his application was receiving attention and that monies to start the projects would soon be sent to him in foreign currency. After such calls, Mr. Nalado would make financial demands from him which he would oblige. The money obtained from Mr.Toungo by Mr. Nalado severally totaled N7, 317,000 (seven million three hundred and seventeen naira).
In a move to assuage the doubts of his victim, later in January 2011, Mr. Nalado brought a sealed box to Mr. Toungo’s house which he claimed contained $2million as the first installment from the Saudi agency. Mr. Nalado told him not to open it, until prayers and purification were made on the box, while still asking Mr. Toungo to bring more money for purification.
Mr. Toungo, at this juncture, decided to report to the EFCC Gombe zonal office. The accused was arrested in Abuja by operatives of the agency after over a year of being on his trail. Upon investigation, the sealed box was brought to the EFCC office and opened in the presence of both parties. The box was discovered to contain 2,353 pieces of Bank of America’s $100 notes resembling the American legal tender. Information sought from Unity Bank confirmed Mr. Nalado as the owner and operator of the account Mr. Toungo had been lodging money in.
When the charge was read to the accused person, he pleaded not guilty.
Justice Quadri adjourned the case to March 15th 2012 for hearing while asking the accused person to be remanded in prison custody.
Also, Sani Ahmed was also arraigned before Justice Quadri for being in possession of fake N1000 notes. He was apprehended in a business centre in Gombe metropolis, where he was found to be using a computer printer to scan the N1000 notes which he would print out with the aid of a computer printer and then cut and trim to size. When caught, Mr. Ahmed claimed he was experimenting with it for schooling purposes but he was later found not to be a student as he earlier claimed.
Justice Quadri also ordered for him to be remanded in prison custody for arraignment at a later date.