The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in the South East Zone, Enugu on Wednesday, arraigned the duo of Ferdinand Ugwunwani and John Ugwu before Justice A.M Liman of the Federal High Court, Enugu.
They were docked on a three–count charge bothering on conspiracy and obtaining the sum of N1,780,000 (One Million, Seven Hundred and Eighty Thousand Naira only) under false pretences, an offence that is 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.
According to investigation carried out by the Commission, it was allegedly found out that the duo having falsely represented themselves as owners and custodians of some non existent plots of land at Umunwene, Iji Nike, Enugu State, obtained the said sums in two tranches of N1.180,000 and N600,000 as payment for two plots of lands and harmonization fees, respectively.
It was further discovered that apart from the fact that the duo knew the original plots were part of a layout, they went ahead to sell the said plots to the complainant and made him pay the money in one of the suspect’s personal account rather than that of the community.
When the charges were read to the defendants, they pleaded not guilty, which prompted the defence counsel P.O. Nwanjoku to move a joint motion for their bail.
This was quickly countered by the prosecution counsel, F. A Shehu, saying that the second defendant John Ugwu had severally refused to honour invitation from EFCC.
The judge, however, noted that having come from his house to the court, the defendant has shown willingness to attend to his trial.
He thereafter granted the duo bail on N1 million with one surety each. Each of the sureties must either own a landed property within the jurisdiction of the court or be a civil servant not less than level 14 in the local, state or federal civil service.
The case has been adjourned to February 20,2018 for trial.