For allegedly aiding and abetting land fraud for about two years, a former Chief of Staff to the Federal Territory Minister, Yau Mohammed Gital, has been remanded at the Kuje prisons.
Justice Abubakar Talba of the FCT High Court, Gudu issued the order for the remand of the suspect and his accomplices who were alleged to have used their positions to demand and receive various sums of money amounting to N192 million under the pretence of securing land allocations for unsuspecting Nigerians.
Gital was charged along one Shuaibu Yakubu, Jibril Tahir and Jibmir Ventures Nigeria Limited by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, before the judge on a 10-count charge bordering on obtaining money under false pretence, conspiracy and forgery.
The accused persons reportedly swindled unsuspecting land applicants of the huge amount, promising to use their positions to secure easy land allocations from the FCDA for them, a promise that turned out to be false.
However, when the charges were read to the suspects in court, they all pleaded not guilty and asked for speedy trial in the case.
One of the charges slammed on the suspects reads: “That you, Yau Mohammed Gital, being the Chief of Staff to the Honourable Minister of the Federal Capital Territory and member of the Land Allocation Committee, Federal Capital Territory Administration; Shuaibu Yakubu, being a former Special Assistant to the former Chief of Staff; Jibril M. Tahir, being the Managing Director of Jibmir Ventures Nigeria Limited and Jibmir Ventures Nigeria Limited sometimes between September 2012 and March 2014 in Abuja within the Jurisdiction of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory Abuja, with intent to defraud, conspired to do an illegal act, to wit: obtain monies by false pretences from various unsuspecting persons under the false pretence that the said monies were for the processing/facilitation of land allocation by the Federal Capital Development Authority which you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 8 (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.”
But counsel to the accused persons, Nura Imam, urged the court to admit them to bail while awaiting trial.
But disagreeing with them, Justice Bello ordered the accused remanded in prison custody and adjourned the case till July 2, 2015 for ruling on the bail application.