Ex-governor of Kogi State Abubakar Audu’s son, Mustapha Audu and his wife, Zahrah Audu were yesterday arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a charge of fraud.
The couple who appeared before Justice Sadik Umar of FCT High Court in Abuja over an alleged N18 million scam were arraigned alongside their company, Constructor Guild Ltd.
They were alleged to have collected N18 million from one Nike Kolawole for the purpose of buying a four-bedroom house at Ruskin Terrace, Katamkpe Extension, Abuja for her, but diverted the money.
At the resumed hearing of the case on Thursday, the second prosecution witness, Abdul Ibrahim, being led in evidence by the EFCC Counsel, Samuel Ugwuegulam, told the court that the matter was reported by one Mrs. Nike Kolawole.
Ibrahim said the accused obtained the amount on false pretext which he even made Kolawole to pay an initial N3 million as commitment fee.
He added that the complainant later paid N10 million as the first installment for the four-bedroom house and another N5 million, totalling N18 million.
The EFCC witness said he discovered during investigation that Audu took Kolawole to one plot of land in Idu-Sabo Village, Abuja, where he claimed that the land was proposed for a mass housing estate.
He said the accused made five different statements during interrogation at the EFCC office, and craved the indulgence of the court to tender the statements in evidence.
Counsel to the accused, Mr Okechukwu Ajunwa, did not oppose the submission of the five statements in evidence.
Justice Umar therefore admitted the statements, dated May 14, May 16, May 31, May 14 and June 12, and marked as exhibits nine and 10, respectively.
Ajunwa, however, prayed the court to issue an order directing the EFCC to release the accused’s passport to enable him to travel for medication outside the country. The accused has been on bail granted him by the court.
Umar adjourned the case to October 28 for continuation of cross examination.
It would be recalled that Audu and his wife were arraigned by the EFCC on a three-count charge of alleged conspiracy, obtaining money on false pretext and fraud.