RIVERS, Nigeria – The Port Harcourt’s Zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Wednesday arraigned a fake ‘Ibrahim Magu’ said to be using the name of the EFCC boss to harass and blackmail senior officials of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, for bribes to ‘kill’ spurious corruption investigations.
The said impersonator was arraigned before Justice M. L Abubakar of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
EFCC Spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, in a statement said the suspect was facing three-count charges bordering on obtaining by false pretences contrary to Section 8(b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.
Uwujaren affirmed, “Terfa got into trouble when he was arrested in Juanita Hotel, Port Harcourt, Rivers State where he was holding a meeting with some Directors of the NDDC over a phony offer, to remove their names from the list of individuals being investigated by the EFCC. He allegedly contacted the Directors claiming to be representing the EFCC Chairman. He reminded them of the forensic audit of the accounts of the NDDC ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari and assured them that their names would be removed from the audit.
“Investigations revealed that the defendant is a political hustler, roaming around ministries and government offices searching for information that can enable him swindle relevant personalities”.
One of the count charges read: “That you Robert Terfa Swem on or about 24th October, 2019 in Port Harcourt, Rivers State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with intent to defraud, did attempt to obtain money by false pretence from Mr. Anselm Agommuoh, by falsely pretending that his name has been shortlisted for investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and that you work closely with and an ally of the Acting Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, and as such, you have the capacity to remove his name from the list, which pretence you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 8(b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.”
But the defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against him.
It was on this ground that prosecution counsel, Samuel Chime prayed the court to fix a date for trial and remand the defendant in Nigerian Correctional Service custody.
However, counsel to the defendant, Thaddaeus Dzege informed the court of an application for the bail of his client; which was not opposed by the prosecution counsel.
In his ruling, Justice Abubakar granted the defendant bail in the sum of N1,000.000.00k and one surety in like sum.
He ordered that the surety must be a grade level 15 officer and above.
He also ordered that the defendant be remanded in a Nigerian Correctional Service custody pending the fulfilment of his bail conditions while the case was adjourned to January 13, 2020 for commencement of trial.