Alleged N950m fraud: Court adjourns trial of young Alhaji foundation promoter to June 23
Judge Mojisola Dada of the Special Criminal Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos on June 19, 2023, adjourned until June 23, 2023 to further hear the trial of an Alhaji Usman Abubakar for alleged N950m fraud.
Abubakar, along with the Young Alhaji Foundation, was indicted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on five counts of obtaining money under false pretenses and theft of N950 million.
One of the counts reads: “Alhaji Usman Abubakar, the Young Alhaji Foundation and Dr Abu Omer Fawaz (at large) conspired with each other, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, to obtain from Ano Farms Limited sometime in September 2022 Pretending that you have the dollar equivalent of the above amount, which you know is false.”
Another count reads: “Alhaji Usman Abubakar and Young Alhaji Foundation attempted to dishonestly convert Ano’s property of N180,000,000.00 (one hundred and eighty crore Nai) on September 20, 2022, within the jurisdiction of this Court La) farms are limited to Abdullahi Mohammed.”
He pleaded not guilty to the charges when he was first arraigned on February 22, 2023.
In today’s proceedings, the first prosecution witness PW1, Adeniyi Oyewole, managing director of Ano Farms Limited, asserted again under cross-examination by lawyers for the first accused, Greg Anumenechi, that the aforementioned Fawaz forwarded the second accused’s account details to him.
He further testified that he was a former banker who traded FOREX (foreign exchange) while working in the banking industry.
During the proceedings, the defense sought to introduce as evidence the originals of two statements made by witnesses to the EFCC during the course of the investigation.
However, counsel for the prosecution S.I. Suleiman disputed the admissibility of the statement.
“This is unacceptable, Your Honor, because it can only be contradictory; the defense did not point out any contradictions in his testimony,” he said.
The dissent was upheld by the court.
According to him, the account details of the second accused were forwarded to him by Fawaz via WhatsApp.
He also confirmed that he was the one who applied for the lien on the said account where N950 million was deposited.
“Yes, I was the one who filed the lien because I doubted the deal, and I also initiated the recall. I did it through my bank,” he said.
He further testified that Fawaz told him that the account holder was angry that there was a lien on the account.
“Dr Fawaz said his bosses were also angry and had directed the second defendant to return the money,” he said.
He said he told Fawaz that if he received the agreed dollar equivalent, he would file to have the lien removed.
He further stated that it was an audio conversation he had with Fawaz and it had been presented in court as an exhibit.
The case was adjourned until June 23, 2023 to continue the trial.