The trial of an alleged N93, 800, 000.00 (Ninety Three Million, Eight Hundred Thousand Naira) fraud case involving one Muhammad Suleiman Gumsuri commenced before Justice Umaru Fadawu of the Borno State High Court, Maiduguri, on Tuesday, September 14, 2021 as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, presented three witnesses.
The Maiduguri Zonal Command arraigned the defendant on August 10, 2021 on a one-count charge.
The defendant was alleged to have fraudulently obtained the sum on the pretext of supplying non-food items to “Save The Children”, a Non-Governmental Organization.
The charge reads: “That you, Muhammad Suleiman Gumsuri, sometime in February 2021, at Maiduguri, Borno State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud did obtained the gross sum of N93, 800,000.00 (Ninety Three Million Eight Hundred Thousand Naira) only from Shettima Mohammed through Karlton International Company’s account number 1023671556 domiciled at UBA and Amir Goni Abdullahi’s Fidelity Bank account number 6012182416 via your account number 0141428771 domiciled at GT Bank and Fidelity Bank account number 6323579712 respectively, all bearing Muhammad Suleiman under the guise that the said sum represent payment for the supply of Non-food items to Save the Children, an NGO, and which you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(1) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and Punishable under Section 3 of the same Act.”
The defendant pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the charge.
At the resumed hearing on Tuesday, first prosecution witness, Peterclaver O. Okwor, an operative of the EFCC, while being led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Mukhtar Ali Ahmed, told the court that the defendant requested for the sum of N93.8million from the petitioner in order to execute a contract for the supply of non-food items which he claimed to have secured from ‘Save the Children’ an NGO, with the agreement that the money would be paid back and proceeds from the contract shared by both parties.
In his words, ‘‘the complainant transferred the sum in tranches to the defendant’s accounts domiciled in Fidelity and Guaranty Trust Banks respectively totaling the sum of N93.8million.
“‘Letters of investigation activities’ were written to the banks and responses were provided to the EFCC. Analyses of the responses received from the bank, confirmed that the sum of N93.8million was paid into the accounts of the defendant by the complainant.’’
Okwor revealed that the defendant confessed in his written statements with the EFCC to have collected the above mentioned sum through his accounts in order to finance the purported contract.
PW2, Maina Muhammad, a staff of Fidelity Bank who was also led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Mukhtar Ali Ahmed told the court that the account opening balance of the defendant as at 24th February, 2021 was N14, 122.87 (Fourteen Thousand, One Hundred and Twenty-Two Naira, Eighty-Seven kobo), ”but shortly after that day, the sum N40million was transferred into the account of the defendant in tranches by one Ali Shettima Mohammed and the defendant transferred same in tranches to some beneficiaries with a closing balance of N2, 500.57 (Two Thousand, Five Hundred Naira, Fifty-Seven kobo).”
PW3, Usman Bala, a Marketing Officer with the Guaranty Trust Bank told the court that, “there was an inflow into the account of Muhammad Suleiman Gumsuri in tranches from the nominal complainant which was well over N50million and the mentioned sum was dissipated by the defendant.’’
The petition written against the defendant and statements of the defendant were tendered and admitted in evidence, while the documents from Fidelity and Guaranty Trust Banks were admitted as exhibits C and D respectively.
Justice Fadawu thereafter adjourned the matter to September 20, 2021 for continuation of trial.