Court remands Abba Moro, former interior minister to Kuje Prisons

Families of those who lost their lives in the Nigerian Immigration Service entrance examination two years ago would be happy  as Nigeria’s former  Interior Minister, Abba Moro and a deputy director in the Ministry, F.O Alayebami on Wednesday were ordered to be remanded in prison custody till next Wednesday.

No fewer than 20 people died during the registration exercise and hundreds more reportedly sustained injuries, prompting calls for those responsible for the tragedy to be brought to book.

Abba Moro however  pleaded not guilty to 11 count charges, ranging from abuse of procurement process and diversion of public funds preferred against him and four
others by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC).

The second defendant in the case, a permanent secretary in the ministry at the time the offenses were committed, Anastasia Daniel-Nwobia, a deputy director in the
ministry who also pleaded not guilty to the charges and granted administrative
bail while the fourth defendant, Mahmood Ahmadu, was said to be at large.

ALSO SEE: Former Interior Minister, Abba Moro , arrested by EFCC

The presiding judge, Justice Anwuli Chikere of the Federal High Court however said the bail application will be argued on Wednesday.

In the 11 count charge, the EFCC had accused the defendants and a firm, Drexel Tech Nigeria Ltd, of defrauding and allegedly collecting N676.6 million from 676,675 job seekers in the fatal Nigerian Immigration Service recruitment exercise in 2014.

Anastasia Daniel-Nwobia: given administrative bail Moro, Daniel-Nwobia, and F. O Alayebami, and one Mahmood Ahmadu (at large), and Drexel Tech Nigeria Ltd, are being accused of defrauding 676, 675 Nigerian applicants of N676,675,000.

According to the anti graft agency, N202,500,000 of the amount was spent on buying No. 1, Lahm Crescent, Maitama, Abuja while N120, 100,000 was used to upgrade
No.2, Sigure Close, Off Monrovia Street, Wuse II Abuja.

The commission said the recruitment firm, Drexel Tech Nigeria Limited and Mahmood
Ahmadu converted N101, 200,000 to US dollars for personal use.

The accused are also alleged to have contravened the Public Procurement Act, No. 65 of 2007 in the contract awards by not following the necessary procedure laid down by the government.

The commission said the recruitment firm, Drexel Tech Nigeria Limited, and Mahmood
Ahmadu converted N101, 200,000 to US dollars for personal use.

An element of the charge is:
“That you Abba Moro, Anastasia Daniel-Nwobia, F.O Alayebami, Mahmood Ahmadu (at large) and Drexel Tech Nigeria Ltd on or about the 17th of March 2013 at Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud conspired to induce a total number of 676,675 Nigerian job applicants seeking employment with Nigerian  Immigration Service to deliver property to wit: cumulative sum of N676,675,000 which sum represents the sum of N1,000 per applicant under the false pretence that the money represents payment for their online recruitment exercise into Nigerian Immigration Service and which pretence you knew was false, contrary to Section 8 and 1(1) (b) and punishable under Section 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, No. 14 of 2006.

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