The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Kaduna Zonal Office, has arraigned one Alhaji Modu Ali Kotoko on a two-count charge bordering on criminal breach of trust, obtaining by false pretences and cheating.
He was docked before Justice Mohammed Tukur of Kaduna State High Court.
The Kaduna office of the EFCC had received a petition from one Abdullahi Mohammed Wuroji, Managing Director, Waram Nigeria Limited, a Limited Liability Company in Kaduna.
Wuroji said that in 2018, Kotoko met him and introduced himself as an aide to Atiku Abubakar, former Vice President.
The businessman recalled that he lured him to give him 13 brand new cars, shoes and clothes worth N65,680,000 and N34,800,000 under pretence that Atiku requested for them for his 2019 presidential election.
The complainant further alleged that he released the 13 brand new cars and goods all worth N100,480,000.
The defendant subsequently disappeared and failed to pay. It was later revealed that Atiku never requested for any cars or goods from Kotoko.
Count one reads: “That you, Alhaji Modu Kotoko, Managing Director of Absanajq Nigeria Limited, sometime in 2018, in Kaduna within the judicial Division of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud, obtained property to wit: 13 brand of cars, shoes and clothes worth the total sum of N65,680,000.00 from Abdullahi Mohammed Wuroji under false pretence that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, GCON requested same to finance his 2019 Presidential General Election, a pretence you knew to be false and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(1)(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offence Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.”
He pleaded “not guilty” to the charge.
Counsel for the EFCC, Y.J. Matiyak, thereafter, asked the court to fix a date for commencement of trial, and prayed that the defendant be remanded in the custody of Nigeria Correctional Service.
Counsel for the defendant, Sule Shuaibu, however pleaded with the court to grant his client bail to enable him prepare for his trial. But Matiyak opposed the bail application basing his argument on the magnitude of the offence.
Justice Tukur has adjourned until Wednesday, March 25, 2020 for ruling of bail application.