The Abuja Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Wednesday, March 4, 2020, arraigned one Mohammed Abubakar, before Justice S. Belgore of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT High Court, Apo, on a one-count charge, bordering on breach of trust, dishonesty and diversion of funds to the tune of about N21million.
The petitioner, Finlab Nigeria Limited, alleged that the defendant collected goods on credit with a promise to pay as soon as the contract sum was paid. However, when the money for the contract was received by Abubakar, he diverted the money to his personal use, and failed to honour the terms of the agreement with Finlab.
The count reads: “That you, Mohammed Musa Abubakar, sometimes in March 2014 in Abuja within the Judicial Division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory did dishonesty convert the sum of N21,330,437.44 (Twenty-one million, three hundred and thirty thousand, four hundred and thirty-seven naira forty-four kobo only) to your own use, which sum was the balance of the payment for laboratory equipment supplied to you on trust, to enable you carry out a contract at the University of Abuja, and that you will pay for the said goods when the contract sum is paid to you by the said university and you thereby committed criminal breach of trust contrary to Section 311 of the Penal Code, Laws of the Federation (Abuja) and punishable under Section 312 of the same Act.”
He pleaded “not guilty” to the charges, prompting counsel for the EFCC, Faruk Abdullah to ask the Court for a trial date, in order for the prosecution to prove its case against him. Abdullah further requested that the court order that the defendant be remanded at a correctional facility.
Justice Belgore, afterwards granted bail to the defendant in the sum of N3million, with two sureties in like sum, who must be civil servants not below Grade Level 12.
While adjourning to April 29, 2020 for commencement of trial, the trial judge ordered that the defendant be remanded in prison pending the fulfilment of the conditions for the bail