The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Kaduna Zonal office, has arraigned a lawyer Abdullahi Badarudeen alongside one Umar Muhammed Fankolo, before Justice Z.B Abubakar of Federal High Court Kaduna, on two-count charge bordering on Conspiracy and Advance Fee Fraud to the tune of N18.5 million.
The EFCC Head, Media and Publicity, Dele Oyewale, in a press statement, Friday in Abuja, said their arraignment followed a petition received at the Kaduna Zonal Office.
He stated that Badarudeen, who owns First Class Legal Service and Consultancy in Kaduna, allegedly connived with Fankolo, sometime in February 2019, to lure the petitioner into making payments for a property located at No. 35B SMC Quarters College Road, Kaduna, valued at N18.5 million.
Oyewale said the defendants allegedly advertised the sale of the property and the petitioner paid for it in two tranches after negotiations had been concluded by all parties involved.
According to the petitioner, he made the payments from his account into the bank accounts of the defendants, domiciled in one of the new generation banks.
The commission spokesperson said investigations revealed that the defendants made withdrawals from the money in bits for their personal use.
He said trouble started when the petitioner made moves to begin work on the said property and discovered that someone else was resident there and upon further enquiries found that Badarudeen and his cohort had defrauded him. He said the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges and in view of their plea the prosecution, led by J. A Ojogbane, urged the court not to grant the 1st defendant bail based on the fact that he did not honour the conditions upon which he was originally granted bail.
This is as the 2nd defendant did not file application for bail in good time in order for the prosecution to respond accordingly.
Justice Abubakar ruled that the defendants be remanded in EFCC custody and adjourned the matter till July 9, 2020, for hearing on the 2nd defendant’s bail application.
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