By Chizoba Ogbeche
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), yesterday arraigned the duo of Aku Ben Aku and Philips James Aliku, alongside their company, Al-Aminu Oil and Gas Limited, before Justice Sulaiman Aliyu Tukur of the High Court of Kaduna state, Kaduna, on a five -count charge bordering on conspiracy, forgery and obtaining money by false pretence to the tune of N14, 602, 600.00.
EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, in a press statement, yesterday in Abuja, said the offence was contrary to Section 8(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable Under Section 1(3) of the same Act.
He said the first accused person, Aku, while being in the employ of the a Equalisation Fund Board, allegedly registered a private company, Al-Aminu Oil and Gas, where he is a director.
Aku, allegedly conspired with the second accused person, Aliku, who is also a director in the company, and obtained the sum of N14, 602, 600.00, from the federal government on the pretence that the money was for the loading and selling of petroleum products by the filling station purportedly located on Madikiya Road, Kafancha, Kaduna state.
Uwujaren said the accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charges when they were read to them and in view of their plea, the prosecution counsel, Steve Odiase, asked the court for a trial date.
However, in response, the defence counsel, F. C. Ikpe, told the court that there was a pending application for bail and prayed the court to grant the accused bail on liberal terms.
The prosecution counsel did not oppose the bail application.
After listening to both counsel, Justice Tukur granted the accused persons bail in the sum of N1million each, with one surety each in like sum.
The accused persons must deposit their international passports with the court registrar.
Each of the sureties must be a civil servant not below Grade Level 14 or a principal officer in a company.
The accused persons are to be remanded in Kaduna Prison pending the fulfillment of their bail conditions.
The case has been adjourned till March 11, 2016, for trial.