The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Wednesday arraigned popular Benue South politician, Alhaji Usman Abubakar, popularly known as Young Alhaji and his foundation, Young Alhaji Foundation, before Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos on a five-count charge allegedly bordering on obtaining money by false pretence and stealing to the tune of N950 million fraud.
According to EFCC spokesman, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, in a statement, ine of the counts against the politician at his arraignment reads: “Alhaji Usman Abubakar, Young Alhaji Foundation and Dr. Abu Omer Fawzi (at large) sometime in September 2022, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, conspired amongst yourselves to obtain the sum of N950, 000,000 from Ano Farms Limited under the false pretence that you had the Dollar equivalent of the said sum, which pretence you knew to be false.”
Another count reads: “Alhaji Usman Abubakar and Young Alhaji Foundation, on the 20th of September 2022, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, attempted to dishonestly convert the sum of N180,000,000.00 (One Hundred and Eighty Million Naira), property of Ano Farms Limited to the use of Abdullahi Mohammed.”
Young Alhaji pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.
The prosecuting counsel, Bilikisu Buhari, prayed the court for a trial date to enable the prosecution call its witnesses and tender relevant documents to prove the case against the defendants.
“We also pray the court to remand the defendant at the Nigerian Correctional Facility, pending the trial date,” she added.
Counsel for the defendants, Olatubosun Olanipekun, SAN, in response, informed the court that the defence “only got to know of the date for arraignment yesterday”.
He, therefore, pleaded with the court to remand the defendant at the EFCC custody, pending the hearing of the defendant’s bail application.
“I humbly apply that the defendant be remanded at the EFCC custody,” he said.
An attempt to make an oral application for bail was dismissed by the court, as the trial judge held that “this court is a court of records”.
The bail application was, thereafter, served on the prosecution in the open court.
Justice Dada adjourned till Wednesday, March 1, 2023 for hearing of the bail application and ordered that the defendant be remanded in the EFCC custody till hearing of his bail application.