The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Wednesday October 3, 2012, arraigned Mr. Felix Walbe before Justice Nimpar Yar’gata of the Federal High Court, sitting in Jos, on a two count charge bordering on fraudulent conversion of N450, 000 and giving false information to the Commission. The offence is punishable under Section 315 of the Penal Code and Section 39 sub section two of the EFCC Establishment Act 2004.
Section 39 of the EFCC Act provides “that any person who makes or causes any other person to make to an officer of the Commission or to any other Public Officer, in the course of the exercise by such Public Officer of the duties of his office, any statement which to the knowledge of the person making the statement, or causing the statement to be made is false, or intended to mislead or is untrue in any material particular ,… shall be guilty of an offence and shall on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding one hundred thousand naira or to an imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or both”.
Walbe allegedly made false statement to the officers of the EFCC when he claimed that one Athanasius Danbaba, an employee of Lower Benue River Basin Development Authority is also employed by, and receiving salary in Natco Nigeria Limited and had corruptly enriched himself and bought several properties in Jos. The statement was investigated and found to be misleading and false.
One of the charges against the accused person reads: “that you Felix Walbe, being a former employee of Natco Nigeria Limited between June 2011 and June, 2012, in the Jos Judicial Division of the High Court of Plateau State, and in such capacity entrusted with certain property, to wit: N450,000 (four hundred and fifty thousand naira) committed criminal breach of trust by dishonestly converting the said sum to your own use, and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 315 of the Penal Code, CAP 89, Laws of Northern Nigeria,1963”.
When the two count charge was read to the accused, he pleaded not guilty. The Prosecution Counsel, Ibrahim Audu, thereafter prayed the court for a short adjournment for hearing and pleaded that the accused be remanded in prison custody.
Justice Nimpar Yar’gata, in his ruling remanded the accused person in Federal Prison, Jos and fixed 25th October, 2012 for definite hearing.