EFCC Arraigns Maritime Academy Staff for N607m Fraud
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Uyo zonal office has arraigned one Martins Bassey Asuquo, a staff of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, Akwa-Ibom State, before Justice A. A. Okeke of the Federal High Court, sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
Asuquo was charged to court on February 1, 2019 for allegedly forging various company receipts, which he used to fraudulently receive payments up to N607,588,600 from the Academy for unsubstantiated supplies, procurements, maintenance works and services.
One of the 16 charges filed against him reads: “That you, Martins Bassey Asuquo, being a staff of Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron on or about the 6th day of October 2016, at Oron, Akwa-Ibom State, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did forge a document to wit: a sales invoice of FAITHFULLY WEALTH TRADING COMPANY dated 06/10/2016, in the sum of N2,100,000 (Two Million, One Hundred Thousand Naira) purported to have been issued by Faithful Wealth Trading Company, with intent that it may be acted upon as genuine and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (2) (c) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap M, 17 of the Revised Edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and punishable under Section 1 (2) (c) of the same Act.”
He pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.
In view of his plea, the prosecuting counsel, Tekon Ndifon, prayed the court to remand him in prison, and fix a trial date.
But the defence counsel, Barrister Samuel J. Ikpo, made an oral application for the bail of his client, which the trial judge immediately dismissed, the court being a court record.
Asuquo was ordered to be remanded in prison pending when his counsel would present a formal application for bail.
The case has been adjourned to February 27, 2019.
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