Wednesday, June 7, 2017

EFCC arrests three ‘Ghost Workers’ for N9.7m fraud

EFCC arrests three ‘Ghost Workers’ for N9.7m fraud


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, today arraigned the trio of Onukaogu Onyinyechi Esther, Ebenuwa Chinazo Jennifer and Onukaogu Joshua in the before Justice A. S. Adepoju of the FCT High court sitting in Wuse, Abuja, as regards a 13-append conflict of conspiracy and obtaining by disloyal pretence.
Esther allegedly abused her office even though creature a staff of Soft Alliance, consultants to the office of the Auditor General of the Federation concerning IPPIS amid 2012 and 2013, to input her publicize and two of her siblings (Jennifer and Joshua) into the IPPIS database as staff of Federal Ministry of Education and Federal Ministry of Works respectively, for the intend of receiving salaries from the federal viewpoint.
Esther and her co-defendants were said to have drawn salaries as ghost workers from their respective ministries for three years, to the expose of N9million back the stroke caught happening following them.

The offence breaches Section 1 (1) (a) and is punishable under Section 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, No. 14, 2006.

EFCC arrests three ‘Ghost Workers’ for N9.7m fraud

Count six of the charge reads:

“That you Onukaogu Onyinyechi Esther and Onukaogu Joshua between January 2014 and December 2014, at Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with the intention to defraud, obtained the sum of N1,860,865.72 (One Million, Eight Hundred and Sixty Thousand, Eight
Hundred and Sixty Five naira, Seventy Two Kobo, only), from the Federal government of Nigeria, under the false pretence that Onukaogu Joshua is a civil servant working in the Federal Ministry of Education, which pretence you knew to be false”.
 The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge.
In view of their pleas, counsel to EFCC, Elizabeth Alabi, urged the court to fix a date for trial and to remand the suspects in prison custody.
But, the defence counsel, M. M. Hirse, informed the court that he had pending applications for the bail of the defendants.
Responding, Alabi urged the court to refuse the application adding that, “they were once granted bail and they jumped it”. 

EFCC arrests three ‘Ghost Workers’ for N9.7m fraud

 However, Justice Adepoju opined that the mean of bail is to safe the attendance of the defendants in court. It is their constitutional right to be settled bail.

The investigate, suitably, arranged each of the defendants bail in the quantity of N5million once one surety each in as soon as quantity. The sureties must be civil servants not below salary grade level ten.

The situation has been adjourned to September 21, 2017 for hearing.
Meanwhile, the defendants are to be remanded in EFCC custody pending the perfection of their bail conditions.

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