The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Sokoto Zonal Office, Wednesday, arraigned Zaharaddeen Ibrahim, Micheal Alabi and Ngozi Agbonjari before Justice Muhammed Muhammed of the Sokoto State High Court on a four-count charge bordering on forgery and conspiracy to steal the sum of N1,205,000.
A press statement by the EFCC acting spokesperson, Mr Tony Orilade, said the accused, staff of one of the branches of Union Bank Plc in Sokoto state, allegedly conspired to issue Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards to an impostor which was used to withdraw the said money for their personal use.
He said, “The money was stolen from the accounts meant for the Home Grown School Feeding Program (HGSFP) initiative of the Federal Government of Nigeria for primary school pupils spread across the 23 local government areas of the state.
The spokesperson said they pleaded not guilty to the charges when it was read to them and in view of their plea, the Counsel for the EFCC, S.H. Sa’ad, asked for a date for trial to commence.
He said while responding, the Defence Counsel, G.O. Uwadia, prayed the court to grant his clients bail on the grounds that the defendants were faithful to the administrative bail granted them by the EFCC, and that they also had credible sureties.
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Justice Muhammed, thereafter, granted the defendants bail in the sum of N500,000 each with one surety each in like sum.
He said the surety must have a landed property within the Jurisdiction of the court.
The case was adjourned till April 23, 2020, for commencement of trial.