The Enugu Zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, separately arraigned six alleged land scammers before Justice I.B Gafai of the Federal High Court, Awka, Anambra State capital.
The suspects are Emmanuel Amakom, Calistus Nwata, Sunday Ezeanu, Ifeanyi Obikwe, Chibuzor Obalum and Okafor Emmanuel Chukwudi. They were arraigned on a cumulative nine count-charge of conspiracy and obtaining by false pretences.
Five of the defendants, except Okafor Emmanuel Chukwudi, were arraigned on a five count-charge, while Emmanuel Amakom, Calistus Nwata and same Okafor Emmanuel Chukwudi were arraigned on another separate four count- charge, all bothering on the same offences .
They were all alleged to have obtained an aggregate sum of N15,200,000 (Fifteen Million, Two Hundred Thousand Naira) only, under the false pretences of being owners of a large portion of land belonging to Nwafor Orizu College of Education, Nsugbe in Anambra State.
Investigation carried out by the Commission revealed that the defendants were never members of the land committee of the community but acted as joint executives of the land committee with Power of Attorney of Agbalagbo and Ugwuani villages respectively to perpetrate their nefarious acts.
The land in question was donated to the state government to build the school by three communities in Nsugbe and that the defendants knew this fact and still went ahead to sell the land to their unsuspecting victims.
After the charges were read to them, the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges, prompting the prosecution counsel, Victor Ukagwu, to pray for the immediate commencement trial.
The defence counsel, N.U.B Atama, rather asked the court to grant the defendants bail.
Justice Gafai granted the defendants bail and ordered that each of the defendants be taken on bail by two sureties, who must be civil servants in state or federal service and must be a resident in Awka and not below grade level 12.
He also ordered the prosecution and defence teams to verify the identity and means of the sureties and adjourned the case to June 28, 2020, for trial. The defendants were ordered to be remanded in prison custody pending the fulfilment of their bail conditions.
Media & Publicity
March 18, 2020