Justice Kudirat Jose of a Lagos High Court, sitting in Ikeja yesterday granted bail to two staff of MTN standing trial over an alleged N1.3 billion fraud instituted against them by the Economic and Financial
Crimes Commission, EFCC.
The defendants, Victor Akintunde and Gani Mustapha who are officials of MTN staff Corparative Society were slammed 17 count charge, bordering on conspiracy, stealing, forgery and issuance of dud cheque.
They are facing trial alongside one Mutairu Babatunde and two companies Prima Vera Engineering and Construction ltd and Mabo Dredging ltd.
While ruling on their bail application, Justice Jose granted them bail in the sum of N50 million each with two sureties.
The judge ordered that the sureties must be civil servant of grade level 15 or above with three years tax clearance.
She subsequently adjourned the case till March 18, 2014 for trial.
Counsel to the EFCC, Emmanuel Jackson, during proceeding informed the court that the defendants committed the alleged offence in April 8, 2008.
Jackson further said that, with intent to defraud, Akintunde, Mustapha, Babatunde alongside their companies Prima Vera Engineering and Construction ltd, Mabo Deredging ltd, conspired to steal the sum
of N127million, property of MTN employees Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society (MEMCOS).
The anti-graft agency, also said that the defendants on the same day with intent to defraud stole the sum of N50million belonging to MTN employees Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society.
He alleged that the sum was fraudulently collected as deposit for payment for land they bought for the society from one Mutairu Baba Egbe Family on behalf of the society.
The prosecutor, further alleged that the suspects conspired to steal the sum of N77, million, property of MTN employees Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society (MEMCOS), being outstanding refund for five hecters out of 13 hecters of land with defective title from Mutairu Baba Egbe Family.
Jackson, stated that Mutairu Babatunde and Primavera Engineering and Construction ltd, stole the sum of N516.697million, property of MTN (MEMCOS) being the sum he fraudulently used to compensate early settlers in 26 hecters of land amounting to 321 plots of land.
The Anti- graft agency, also alleged that the defendants on August 3, 2009, stole the sum of N515,697, property of (MEMCOS) which they fraudulently converted through Mabo Dredging ltd.
According to the counsel, the defendants stole N592.820million, from (MEMCOS), under false pretence that the money represents payment to Lagos State Government for documentation and governor’s consent.
The defendants were also said to have on April 25, 2008, obtained the sum of N990million under the pretence that the money represents payment for 13 hecters of land at Okun Ajah Community.
The third, fourth and fifth, defendants, were particularly accused of issuing a First Bank cheque No. PC 68290484 in the sum of N427million, in favour of the MTN employees Multi- Purpose Cooperative ltd, which was dishonured when it was presented at the bank for lack of insufficient fund in the account.
The offences committed according to EFCC, is contrary to section 516, 390(9) of the criminal code Cap C17, Vol 2 laws of Lagos state of Nigeria 2003, it also contravens sections 6, 8 (a) (b) and 1 (3) of the advanced fee fraud and other fraud related offences Act 2006. The offence, also contravened section 1 (a) (a) (I) of the dishonoured cheques Act 2004 and forgery contrary to section 467 of the criminal
Code Cap C17, Vol. 2 laws of Lagos state of Nigeria 2003