Two bankers, Freeman Austin Jacob and Umar Abdullahi and two others – Ahmed Bashir and Abdulhakim Musa (aka Gandu) were on Monday arraigned before Justice Simon Akpah Amobeda of the Federal High Court, Kano on a three-count charge bordering on conspiracy and stealing.
According to the prosecution team, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the defendants allegedly conspired among themselves and produced an ATM card in the name of one Alhaji Sani Muntari, a bank customer, and used same to steal the sum of N20 million from his bank account.
The EFCC said the defendants perpetrated the fraud by using the SIM card of the account holder which was stolen by the 3rd defendant Bashir, to produce an ATM card with the help of the 1st and 2nd defendants, Jacob and Abdullahi.
During investigation, the EFCC traced some of the proceeds of the theft to the bank account of the 4th defendant Musa, who is a friend to Bashir.
When the charges were read to them, all the defendants pleaded not guilty.
In view of this, the prosecution counsel, 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 be formal.
Counsel to the 4th defendant, informed the court that she intends to file a formal bail application and subsequently prayed the court for a date to do same and serve the prosecution.
Justice Amobeda, who listened to the submissions of the parties, agreed with the prosecution that bail applications should be made formally as the court is a court of record.
He subsequently remanded the defendants and adjourned the matter till June 26, for hearing of bail applications and commencement of trial.