The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, yesterday arraigned a Director in Kebbi State Ministry of Finance, Yahyah Saidu Andarai, and his aide, Farouk Abubarka Uduli, before an Ikeja High Court for allegedly stealing N64 million belonging to Coscharis Motors Limited.
The defendants were arraigned before Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo on a 27-count charge bordering on conspiracy, fraud and stealing.
The defendants were alleged to have converted the money to their personal use being the proceed of the sales of AX motorcycles, property of Coscharis Motors entrusted to them on behalf of Jega National Union Local Government Employees of Kebbi State.
The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to all the charges preferred against them. The EFCC counsel, Oluwabumi Abosede, told the court that the defendants had committed the crime between August 26, 2009 and August 2, 2012 in Mazamaza area of Lagos.
Abosede also alleged that sometime in August 2010, the first defendant stole 20 units of AX motorcycle valued at N2.2 million.
The counsel added that on August 26, 2009, with intent to defraud, Andarai (first defendant) converted in to his use N17 million, the money entrusted to him by the Jega National Union of Local Government Employees of Kebbi State.
Abosede said the offence was contrary to Section 309 Cap 2 Laws of Lagos State. Counsel to the first defendant, Odu Hycinth, made an oral application for bail. While arguing for bail, Hycinth described the first defendant as a very responsible man who is a serving director in the Kebbi State Ministry of Finance.
He promised that the accused would always be available for trial. Ruling, Onigbanjo granted the two defendants bail in the sum of N2 million, with two sureties in like sum.
Hycinth thereafter urged the court to allow the first defendant to be remanded in EFCC’s custody because of his ill health, pending when he would meet his bail conditions. He said Andarai was hypertensive and had been to the Military Hospital at Ikoyi, close to the EFCC office.
Responding, the EFCC counsel said: “I know that the proper place after arraignment is prison custody. “I will allow the court to use its discretion because I am not aware of his health issues.”
Onigbanjo, however, said he was not satisfied with the explanation from the first defendant counsel and that of the Investigating Police Officer, IPO, on Andarai’s ill health. He said that he did not see any reason why the first defendant should be taken back to the EFCC custody.