Court Remands Abba Moro In Prison

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By Sadiq Umar – A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, Monday has ordered the remand of a former Interior Minister, Abba Moro, in prison custody pending the determination of his application for bail. Mr. Abba Moro

Mr. Moro and four others are facing an 11- count charge bordering on obtaining by false pretence, procurement fraud and money laundering. The allegations bother on his alleged role in the controversial 2014 recruitment exercise by the Nigeria Immigration Services.

However, Anastasia Nwobia, a co-accused, was granted bail following her release from the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Counsel to Nwobia, Uche Chris had prayed the court to grant his client bail because she is a nursing mother and a victim of circumstance in the case.

The court granted his request but remanded Moro, the first defendant in the case in prison.

“I apply for a trial date and I apply that the accused persons be remanded in prison custody,” Counsel to the EFCC, Aliyu Yusuf said.

A statement by EFCC said: ”Moro, Anastasia Daniel Nwobia, F O Alayebami, Mahmood Ahmadu (at large) and Drexel Tech Nigeria Ltd allegedly defrauded a total of 675, 675,000 Nigerian applicants to the tune of N675,675,000, representing N1000 per applicant through e-payment for an online recruitment exercise into the Nigeria Immigration Service on March 17, 2013,”.

The accused are 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 EFCC in its charge stated that, “The award of the contract to Drexel Tech Nig Ltd had no prior advertisement, no needs assessment, and a procurement plan was not carried out before award of the contract,”read a statement issued by Uwujaren last week.‬ ‪

‪“The contract was awarded through selective tendering procedure by invitation of four firms without seeking approval of Bureau for Public Procurement contrary to sections 40, 42 and 43 of the Public Procurement Act, No. 65 of 2007 and punishable under section 58 of the same act.

“Drexel Tech Global Nigeria Limited, the company that provided the online enlistment and recruitment services, is said to be unregistered and had no legal capacity to enter into the said contract. ‪

“There is also said to be no budgetary provision for the exercise in the 2014 federal capital budget, hence the applicants were made to bear the responsibility of funding the project without approval of the board, contrary to section 22(5) of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Act 2000.

“One of the accused, Mahmood Ahmadu (who is at large) in connivance with Drexel Tech Nigeria Ltd, lavished the total of N423, 800,000.00; part of the N676,675,000, gotten from the applicants on the following: the sum N202, 500, 000, in purchase of a property in a choice area of the federal capital territory; N120, 100,000, used in upgrading a property in Abuja, while the total of N101, 200, 000 was converted to United states dollars for personal use.”

The court fixed Wednesday to hear arguments for and against the bail application.

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