The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, today, July 24, 2013 arraigned two suspects, Joseph Olatunde Badmus and Akeju Isaac Bola, before Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi of the FCT High Court, Abuja on a 30-count charge bordering on conspiracy, personation and forgery.
The suspects are alleged to have been parading themselves as EFCC officials and defrauding unsuspecting victims of millions of naira under the pretext of assisting them to suppress petitions pending before the Commission.
One of the charges read; “That you, Joseph Olatunde Badmus and Akeju Isaac Bola sometimes between October 2012 and May 2013 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory falsely pretended to be officers of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, and in such assumed character did attempt to obtain money from various unsuspecting individuals under the colour of such office and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 132 of the Penal Code Cap 532 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (Abuja) 1990”.
The accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Counsel to EFCC, Chris Mshelia then urged the court to remand the accused in prison custody pending the hearing of their bail application. However, counsel to the accused persons Osuagwu Ugochukwu prayed the court to admit his clients to bail, assuring that they will be available to face their trial.
Justice Oniyangi ordered that the accused persons be remanded in Kuje prison and adjourned the matter to September 27, 2013 for hearing of the bail application.
The suspects were arrested following a complaint by Dr. Olotu Sunday Osasu, the Medical Director of Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Benin, Edo State. He stated that the suspects claimed that there was a petition against him and advised him to part with some money to enable them give him a soft landing.
Olotu further stated that after several attempts to meet the suspects one-on-one failed, they agreed to receive the sum of N1.2 million to be paid in two instalments to a UBA account. The accused persons were arrested while attempting to cash the money at the bank.
The EFCC has repeatedly warned members of the public to desist from offering money to persons purporting to be officers of the agency as such practice is alien to the Commission’s code of professional conduct.