The Department of State Services (DSS) Thursday arraigned three men for attempting to defraud Ebonyi State Government to the tune of $10 million (N3.6 billion).
The trio, Precious Orji Nnachi, Obinna Agummuo and Chuks Ajunwa, were arraigned in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital for approaching Governor David Umahi in December 2019 claiming they were representatives of a foreign company and had $125 million to give to the state government.
They were alleged to have told the governor that the condition for the smooth receipt of the grant was if there was up to $10 million in the State Government’s United Bank Africa account.
The suspected fraudsters allegedly committed the offence at Umunaga village, Uburu community, in the Ohaozara Local Government Area of the state, on December 30, 2019.
They were arraigned at the Magistrate’s Court on six counts bothering on felony, attempt to defraud, amongst others.
According to the DSS prosecutor, C.P. Njoku, told the court that the offense was punishable under sections 516A (a), 509 and 484 of the Criminal Code Cap. 33, Vol. 1 Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria, 2009.
The charge read in part: “That you Precious Orji Nnachi, Obinna Agummuo and Chuks Ajunwa, on the 30th day of December, 2019, at Umunaga Uburu in the Ohaozara Local Government Area, under the jurisdiction of Abakaliki Magisterial District, conspired amongst yourselves to commit felony to wit: Attempt to defraud and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 516A (a) of the Criminal Code Cap. 33, Vol. 1, Laws of Ebonyi State, of Nigeria, 2009.
“That you Precious Orji Nnachi, Obinna Agummuo and Chuks Ajunwa, on the the 30th day of December, 2019, at Umunaga Uburu in the Ohaozara LGA, under Abakaliki Magisterial District attempted to defraud the Government of Ebonyi State of the sum of Ten Million Dollars (USD10,000,000.00), amounting to Three Billion Six Hundred Million Naira (N3,600,000,000.00) through a claim which you had no intention or capacity to effect and thereby committed an offense punishable under section 509 of the Criminal Code Cap. 33., Vol. 1, Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria, 2009.
“That you Precious Orji Nnachi, being a Technical Assistant to the Governor of Ebonyi State, on the 30th day of December, 2019, at Umunaga Uburu, in the Ohaozara LGA, under Abakaliki Magisterial District, corruptly attempted to obtain from the Government of Ebonyi State of the sum of Twenty Five Million Dollars (USD25,000,000.00), as a reward and thereby committed an offense contray to section 494 (1)(a) of the Criminal Code Cap. 33, Vol. 1, Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria, 2009.”
The Chief Magistrate, Nnanna Onuoha, who adjourned till February 5, 2020 for hearing, granted the accused persons bail in the sum of N500 million each, with three sureties in like sum.
She also ordered that the sureties must have properties worth N500 million and must present Certificate-of-Occupancy of the said properties, to the court.
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