The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday arraigned one Sadiq Mustapha, a 33-year-old businessman before Justice Mallong Peter of the Federal High Court, Kaduna.He was arraigned by the Kaduna Zonal Office of the Commission on a two-count charge of obtaining money by false pretence to the tune of N6,100,000.00 (Six Million, One Hundred Thousand Naira) and operating a bureau de change without authorisation by Central Bank of Nigeria.
Trouble started for the defendant following a petition by one Abdulsalam Danlami Abubakar to the Kaduna Zonal Office of the Commission, dated February 26, 2019, where the petitioner alleged that the defendant sometime in 2016 lured him into transferring the sum of N6,100, 000.00 (Six Million, One Hundred Thousand Naira) in three separate transactions from his Zenith Bank account to his company, Abueleven Limited with account number 4010185189, domiciled in Fidelity Bank for exchange with a dollar equivalent at the rate of N305 per dollar, amounting to $20,000.00.
After the payment, the defendant he said, refused to credit his account with the dollar equivalent, but that following an intense pressure, he refunded N2million, paid in two tranches of N1million each but has refused to pay up the remaining balance of N4,100,000.00.
The defendant was arrested on June 24, 2019.Count one of the charge reads: “That you Sadiq Mustapha, while being the chairman/chief executive officer of your company, called Abueleven Limited, sometime in 2016, at Kaduna, within the Kaduna Judicial Division of the Federal High Court of Kaduna State, without appropriate licence from the Central Bank of Nigeria and with intent to defraud, falsely obtained from one Abdulsalam Danlami Abubakar, the total sum of N6,100,000.00 (Six Million, One Hundred Thousand Naira) through your company account called Abueleven Limited with account number 4010185189, domiciled at Fidelity Bank Plc for the purpose of exchanging the money to $20,000 United States dollars at the rate of N305 per dollar, which you knew all to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.”
He pleaded not guilty to the charges, prompting prosecution counsel, S. H Sa’ad to ask the court for a date for commencement of trial and to remand him in the custody of Nigeria Correctional Service (NCS). The defense lawyer, however, applied for bail for the defendant.Justice Peter ordered that the defendant be remanded in the custody of NCS and adjourned until December 6, 2019 for hearing on his bail application.