EFCC slams 11 count charge on Abba Moro, 3 others

Chukwumerije Aja, Abuja

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned former Minister of Interior, Abba Moro and three others, in a Federal High Court, Abuja, on 11 count charges of procurement fraud and Money Laundering.

The others are Anastasia Daniel-Nwobia, former Permanent Secretary; F.O Alayebami, a serving Deputy Director in the ministry; Mahmood Ahmadu, who is at large and Drexel Global Tech Ltd.

The defendants were arraigned for defrauding 676,675 Nigerian applicants of about N676 million in the botched March 15, 2014 immigration recruitment exercise.

The charge stated that each of the applicants was charged N1000 for online registration to be eligible to participate in the recruitment exercise.

The anti-graft body said the defendants flouted the Public Procurement Act, No. 65 of 2007 in the award of the contract for the conduct of the recruitment test to Drexel Global Tech Ltd.

The EFCC said that the first to the third defendants failed to throw the bidding process of the contract open to competition before it was awarded to Drexel.

The charge said the contract was awarded through selective tendering without seeking the approval of the Bureau for Public Procurement.

The prosecution said the action was contrary to Sections 40, 42 and 43 of the Public Procurement Act and punishable under Section 58 of the same Act.

The charge also alleged that Drexel Global Ltd had no legal backing to have been given the contract as it was not a registered entity with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
The charge further stated that it was unlawful for the defendants to approve the registration fees for the exercise without the due approval from the Nigerian Immigration Board.

The prosecution, therefore, said such approval was contrary to Section 22 (5) of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Act of 2000.

They pleaded not guilty to the 11-count charge.

The presiding judge, Justice Anwuli Chikere, therefore, ordered for the remand of the ex-minister and Alayebami in Kuje Prison while Daniel-Nwobia was allowed to enjoy her administrative bail.

Chikere adjourned the matter till March 2 for the hearing of bail applications of others.