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EFCC arraigns developer over alleged property fraud in Abuja

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ABUJA, Nigeria – The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arraigned Joseph Idakho alongside his company, Zamtrac Management and City Investment Limited for alleged conspiracy, forgery and criminal breach of trust.

The duo were made to appear before Justice D. Z. Senchi of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, High Court, Jabi, Abuja.

He allegedly defrauded one Hajiya Halima Babangida in a real estate development transaction that went awry.

EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren said this in a statement in Abuja.

Uwujaren explained, “Babangida alleged in a petition to the EFCC that she entered into an agreement with the defendant’s company for development of six units of detached houses of five bedrooms each, including boys quarters, at Plot, 2398 AO6, Cadastral Zone, Maitama District, Abuja, with her contribution being the land, while the defendant was to bear another cost of development.

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“She claims that they had agreed to share the property equally at the end of development but discovered, to her chagrin, that the defendant commenced sale of the property even before completion without her knowledge or approval.

“Irked by this development, she allegedly probed further and discovered that Idakwo and one Aliyu Dasuki conspired and forged her signature on the documents which they used in selling the houses”.

Count one of the five-count charges read: “That you, Joseph Idakwo and Zamtrac Management and City Investment Ltd sometime in October 2017 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court entrusted with dominion over the landed property at Plot 2398 A06 Cadastral Zone Maitama District, Abuja committed criminal breach of trust in respect of the said property when you sold part of the property to Suleiman Mohammad Chiroma in violation of paragraph 3.2.6 of the Property Development Agreement made on 20th January, 2017 between Hajiya Halima Babangida and Zamtrac Management and City Investment Ltd and you thereby committed an offence contrary to, and punishable under Section 312 of the Penal Code Law”.

But after the charges were read, the defendant reportedly pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

The prosecuting counsel, Offem I. Uket, asked for a trial date and prayed the court to remand the defendant in Nigerian Correctional Service custody, pending the commencement of trial.

However, the defence counsel, J. A. Atanawhemera, moved an oral bail application for his client.

In his ruling, Justice Senchi granted the defendant bail in the sum of N1, 000,000 with two sureties, who must have landed properties in Abuja, with Certificate of Occupancy.

He also ordered that the sureties must be residents of Abuja, and adjourned the matter to January 16, 2020 for trial.

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