N23.1m land scam: Court to hear case of 2 applicants

An FCT High Court yesterday adjourned until May 21, hearing in a case filed against two applicants for alleged N23.1 million land scam, to enable them to engage services of new counsel.

The EFCC arraigned Kate Igwe and Ismaila Hussaini on five counts of criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery, obtaining money under false pretext and breach of trust.

Justice Husseini Baba-Yusuf, fixed the date after the accused persons informed the court that they needed time to get new legal representation because their former lawyer, Mr Sam Ogechi, had disengaged his services.
The prosecution counsel, DSP Rimamsote Ezekiel, who did not oppose the application for an adjournment, expressed reservations as the matter was fixed for hearing.

Ezekiel said the offence was punishable under the Advanced Fee Fraud and other related offences Act of 2006.
Ezekiel alleged that the accused collected N23.1 million from one Chief Martin Ofili to buy a plot of land for him at 64th Street, off 1st Avenue, Gwarimpa, Abuja, sometime in March 2009.

He said the accused knew that the transaction was false and that they could not deliver the plot of land.
He said the offence contravened the Penal Code and If convicted, they were liable to 15 years in prison, with option of fine.
Both accused pleaded not guilty, though Igwe admitted that he collected N1 million as agency fee.
The accused had pleaded not guilty and the court admitted them to bail for N2 million each with two sureties who must be civil servants. (NAN)

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