The Makurdi Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on March 16 2021, arraigned one Chidi Aniekwe Emmanuel before Justice Mobolaji Olajuwon of the Federal High Court, Makurdi, Benue State on a four count charge of conspiracy and obtaining money under false pretence to the tune of N150, 000.00 (One Hundred Fifty-thousand Naira).
One of the counts reads: “That you, Chidi Aniekwe Emmanuel and Ifeanyi (now at large), sometime in June 2020, at Lafia within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud did conspire amongst yourselves to use a First Bank ATM card of Agu Onuorah to obtain the sum of N150, 000 (One hundred fifty thousand naira) at Bashiman Enterprise POS and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 27(1b) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, ETC.) Act 2015 punishable under section 31(1) of the same Act”.
He pleaded “not guilty” when the charges were read to him.
In view of his plea, prosecuting counsel, George Chia-Yakua asked for a trial date, and the remand of the defendant pending bail.
However, defence counsel, I. M. Mari orally applied for the bail of his client.
Justice Olajuwon granted bail to the defendant in the sum of N500,000 (Five Hundred Thousand Naira) with one surety in like sum, who must be a public servant or civil servant on Grade Level 12 and above. The surety must reside in Makurdi, own a landed property with Certificate of Occupancy, show evidence of tax clearance and submit two recent passport photographs to the Court.
While adjourning until May 3, 2021 for the commencement of trial, the judge ordered that the defendant be remanded in a Correctional Centre pending the perfection of his bail conditions.
Chidi was arrested with three others suspected fraudsters who specialize in defrauding unsuspecting members of the public by stealing their bank details while pretending to help them operate ATM machines.