N277 million fraud: EFCC arraigns former Kwara Hotel boss, Mohammad Gobir

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Tuesday, April 4, 2017, arraigned a former Kwara Hotel boss, Mohammad Gobir alongside Mondial Defense Systems Limited before Justice J.E. Oyefeso of the Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja on a five-count-charge bordering on conspiracy, stealing and forgery to the tune of N277,020,000.00(Two Hundred and Seventy-seven Million, Twenty Thousand Naira).

The accused allegedly converted to personal use the sum of money meant for the purchase of security bands for Kwara State government.

The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges when they were read to them.
In view of their pleas, the prosecution counsel, Zainab Ettu, asked the court for a trial date and prayed that the accused be remanded in prison custody.

However, counsels to the accused urged the court to grant their clients bail.

In response, the prosecution counsel opposed the bail applications sought by the defence counsel.

Ettu further submitted that the first defendant, Gobir, is a flight-risk who might abscond from trial if granted bail.

” My Lord, he has once jumped the administrative bail granted to him by EFCC, ” she said

Zainab Etu also told the court that Gobir is currently undergoing trial in matters bordering on false declaration, obtaining money under false pretence, forgery, stealing and possession of fraudulent documents before Justice Adebiyi of Lagos State High Court, Ikeja and Justice Oguntoyinbo of Federal High Court, Ikoyi, respectively.

After listening to all submissions , Justice Oyefeso ruled that the court had a discretion in this circumstance, adding that the offence is bailable.

Consequently, Justice Oyefeso granted the first defendant bail in the sum of N50 million with two sureties in like sum.

One of the sureties must be a blood relation to the first defendant; one of the sureties must be a land owner in Lagos State.

The two sureties must tender their tax payment clearance for two previous years; the two sureties must have a steady and legal means of livelihood.

The judge further ordered that the residential address of the first defendant should be verified by the court, while his international passport should be submitted to the court Registrar.

Gobir was ordered to be remanded in Ikoyi prison pending the perfection of his bail conditions.

The case was adjourned to June 8 and 13, 2017 for trial.

SOURCE: African Spotlight