From Yemi Oyeyemi, Abuja
Immediate past President of the Joint Staff Cooperative Thrift and Loan Society (JSCTLS), of the Defence Ministry in Abuja Mr Sunny Antai has been arraigned before a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Jabi, Abuja for allegedly defrauding members of the union to the tune of N810,622,546.56k.
Antai, a retired official of the Federal Ministry of Defence, was charged with Emenogu Ruth Nwachi (who was then the group’s Treasurer) in a three-count charge filed by the Inspector General of Police (IGP).
They were alleged to have, while in office between 2002 and 2012, fraudulently obtained N810,622,546.56K from members of the JSCTLS on the false pretence to acquire land for them to build their individual houses.
The duo was also alleged to have, between 2016 and 2017 long after their tenure, “dishonestly and fraudulently, under false pretence, signed and delivered a letter to Unity Bank of Nigeria Plc with the intention to cause the management of the bank to believe that they were still signatory to the group’s account domicile with the bank.”
They were also alleged to have, between 2011 and 2017, “under false pretence and with intention to defraud, impersonated to be the President and Treasurer respectively of the JSCTLS long after you have left office.”
Although Antai and Nwachi were named as defendants in the charge marked: CR/487/2019, only Antai took his plea, as the prosecuting lawyer, Blessing Ezeala said the second defendant was still at large.
In a ruling on November 19, Justice Hassan Babangida of the High Court of the FCT in Jabi, granted bail to Antai at N100m, with one surety in like sum.
Justice Babangida ordered that the surety must among others, be a resident of the FCT, a civil servant in the service of the Federal Government, who must show evidence of employment as a federal civil servant.
The judge adjourned till February 28 next year for the commencement of trial.