By G9ija

The Group Managing Director (GMD) of an oil marketing firm, Triumph Oil and Gas Madagascar Nigeria Limited, Ibrahim Olanrewaju Mahmud, was on Monday arraigned before an Abuja, FCT high court over an alleged attempt to defraud the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to the tune of $100 million.

Although Mahmud was granted bail by the court, he was ordered to be remanded in prison custody after failing to fulfil the bail conditions.

Mahmud, who was arraigned before the FCT court on a six-count charge, was also accused of forging the signatures of CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele, Special Assistant to the President Sabiu Yusuf and the GMD of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari.

According to the prosecuting agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mahmud, who allegedly claimed to be a Deputy Governor in CBN, was said to have taken the said forged documents to the central bank to demand the payment of $100 million for the contract he claimed his firm was awarded by the CBN.

The defendant was said to have also claimed that his firm was engaged to monitor and supervise major federal infrastructure projects, forfeited assets and government businesses, for which the CBN approved the payment of the $100 million.

Upon being confronted with Mahmud’s claims, the CBN was said to have referred the case to the EFCC for investigation, following which the investigating agency found that, not only was his firm not registered, the documents he paraded were of doubtful origin.

Mahmud, who pleaded not guilty and was granted bail by Justice Halilu Yusuf was ordered to be returned to the Kuje prison following his inability to meet bail conditions.

During the criminal trial on Monday, the prosecuting counsel, Benjamin Manji, said that he was ready to proceed to trial.

However, Defence lawyer JK Kolawole pleaded for time to enable him to familiarise himself with the case, claiming he was new in the matter.

With the EFCC lawyer not opposing the defence lawyer’s application, Justice Yusuf adjourned further hearing until January 24 for definite trial, during which an official of the CBN is expected to testify for the prosecution.

Some counts in the charge read: “That you, Ibrahim Olanrewaju Mahmud, on or about 8th May 2020 at Abuja, fraudulently made a false document to wit: Central Bank of Nigeria certificate of ownership, dated 6th May 2020, purportedly signed by Mr Godwin Emefiele, Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, and National Assembly of Federal Republic of Nigeria signature stating that you are the rightful beneficiary of US$100,000,000.00 only with the intention of causing same to be believed that the said document was genuine and emanated from Central Bank of Nigeria, which you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 362 and punishable under Section 364 of the Penal Code Cup, 532 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, (Abuja) 1990.

“That, you Ibrahim Olanrewaju Mahmud, on or about 18th May 2020 at Abuja, fraudulently made a false document to wit: Central Bank of Nigeria deposit certificate dated 18th May 2020, purportedly signed by Mr Mele Kyari, Chairman of NNPC and Mr Godwin Emefele, Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, depositing US$50,000,000.00 only wit the intention of causing same to be believed that the said document was genuine and emanated from Central Bank of Nigeria, which you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to 362 and Punishable under Section 364 of the Penal Code Cup, 532 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, (Abuja) 1990.

“That you, Ibrahim Olanrewaju Mahmud, on or about 22 July 2020 at Abuja, fraudulently used as genuine a forged document to wit: Centre Bank of Nigeria deposit certificate dated 18th May 2020 purportedly signed by Mr Mele Kyari, Chairmen of NNPC and Mr Godwin Emefiele, Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, when you presented the said document to the Central Bank of Nigeria to support your claim of USS50,000,000.00 only which you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 366 and punishable under Section 364 of the Penal Code Cup, 532 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, (Abuja) 1990.

“That you, Ibrahim Olanrewaju Mahmud, on or about 5t October 2020 at Abuja, with the intent to defraud, had in your possession, a document titled: Federal Republic of Nigeria Confirmation of Appointment, dated 15th January 2018 purportedly signed by Sabiu Yusuf, Special Assistant to the President, printed from your email account – [email protected] wherein you presented yourself as Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, a representation you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Sections 6 & 8(b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.”