The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Monday arraigned two bankers, Freeman Austin Jacob and Umar Abdullahi and two others – Ahmed Bashir and Abdulhakim Musa (aka Gandu) before Justice Simon Akpah Amobeda of the Federal High Court, Kano on a three count charge of conspiracy and stealing.
The defendants allegedly conspired among themselves to produce an ATM card in the name of one Sani Muntari and used same to steal the sum of N20 million from his bank.
The defendants perpetrated the fraud by using the SIM card of the account holder which was stolen by Mr Bashir, the third defendant, to produce an ATM card with the help of the first and second defendants.
Investigation traced some of the proceeds of the theft to the bank account of the fourth defendant, Abdulkarim Musa, a friend to the third defendant, Ahmed Bashir.
One of the charges reads, “That You, Freeman Austin Jacob, Umar Abdullahi, sometime in February 2020, at Kano within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, connived with Ahmed Bashir and Abdulhakim Musa (aka Gandu) to prime and issue ATM card from UBA account no 2062903187 belonging to one Alhaji Sani Mutari without the knowledge or consent of the said customer and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 14 (7) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, Etc,) Act, 2015.
All the defendants pleaded not guilty after listening to the charge.
Counsel for the prosecution, Aisha Tahar Habib requested that the defendants be remanded and urged the court to fix a date for the commencement of trial.
Counsel representing the 1st and 2nd defendants made an oral bail application on behalf of his clients which was opposed by the prosecution counsel on the grounds that the application ought to formal.
L.A Umar who represented the 4th defendant informed that she intends to file a formal bail application and subsequently prayed the court for a date to do same and serve the prosecution.
After listening to the submissions of the parties, Justice Amobeda agreed with the prosecution that bail applications should be made formally as the court is a court of record.
He subsequently remanded the defendant and adjourned the matter till June 26, 2023 for hearing of bail applications and commencement of trial.