On Tuesday, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) brought charges against two bankers, Freeman Jacob and Umar Abdullahi, before Justice Simon Akpah Amobeda of the Federal High Court in Kano. The charges include conspiracy and stealing. Additionally, the commission arraigned Ahmed Bashir and Abdulhakim Musa (also known as Gandu), who allegedly collaborated with Jacob and Abdullahi in 2020.According to the EFCC, the defendants are accused of conspiring to create an ATM card under the name of Alhaji Sani Muntari and using it to steal the sum of N20,000,000 from his bank account. One of the charges states that the defendants, Freeman Austin Jacob and Umar Abdullahi, along with Ahmed Bashir and Abdulhakim Musa, conspired to issue an ATM card without the knowledge or consent of the account holder. The fraud was carried out by using the stolen SIM card of the account holder, which Bashir had in his possession, to produce the ATM card with the assistance of Jacob and Abdullahi. The investigation revealed that some of the stolen funds were traced to the bank account of Musa, who is a friend of Bashir.
However, all the defendants entered a plea of not guilty.
The prosecution counsel, Aisha Tahar Habib, requested that the defendants be remanded in custody and asked the court to set a date for the trial to begin.
The counsel representing the first and second defendants made an oral bail application on behalf of their clients, but the prosecution opposed it, arguing that the application should be formal.
The lawyer representing the fourth defendant informed the court that she plans to file a formal bail application and requested a date to do so and serve the prosecution.
After considering the arguments presented, Justice Amobeda agreed with the prosecution that bail applications should be made formally since the court is a court of record.
Consequently, the defendants were remanded in custody, and the case was adjourned until June 26, 2023, for the hearing of the bail applications and the commencement of the trial.