Two individuals, Mshelia Silas and Sabo Jimeta, were charged by the Police Special Fraud Unit on Tuesday before the Federal High Court in Lagos with illegally selling property and allegedly converting N800 million.
Jitau Investment Limited was arraigned alongside the accused.
Three counts of conspiracy, fraud, and improper conversation of the fund are brought against the accused.
The defendants conspired to perpetrate the crime along with Albert Atiwurcha, Nanda Ezekiel, and J &J Holding Villa Limited, who are currently at large, according to the prosecution’s CSP Emmanuel Jackson, who was assisted by Justin Enang.
Jackson testified before the court that the defendants planned their scheme and fraudulently auctioned off a property at 3, Bunu Sheriff Crescent, Katampe Extension, Abuja, for N800m with the aim to defraud.
The prosecutor told Justice Nicholas Oweibo that the property that was sold belonged to one Abubakar Zango.
According to the prosecutor, upon selling off the property, the defendants diverted the proceeds into two bank accounts, Union Bank Plc account number 0041529275, belonging to Jitau Investment Limited, and Zenith Bank Plc’s account number 1016265443, belonging to J and J Holding Villa Limited, different from the one nominated by the owner of the property, Zango.
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The prosecutor said the offences committed contravened sections 1(3) and 1(i)(a) and of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act No. 14 of 2006 and Section 15(2)(b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as Amended in 2012.
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge against them.
Following their plea, the defendants’ lawyers, Kyari Gadzama(SAN); Kole Bello, and J. W. Dong, told the court that their clients’ bail applications had been filed and served on the prosecution.
While moving the bail applications, Gadzama, urged the court to admit his client to bail in the most liberal terms, and that the court should also grant him bail on self-recognisance.
Counsel for the second defendant aligned himself with Gadzama’s submissions.
The prosecutor, however, opposed the bail applications.
In a short ruling on the bail application, Justice Oweibo admitted the defendants to bail in the sum of N500m, each with one surety in like sum.
Justice Oweibo, who adjourned the matter till June 21 for trial, ordered that the defendants be remanded in the custody of the SFU till they perfect their bail conditions.
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