By Balkis Tijani
A Federal High Court sitting in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, today (Wednesday) denied Abubakar Ishiak, Permanent Secretary, Kwara State Government House, and three others bail over an alleged N20.3 million fraud.
Ishiak was arraigned on May 2 along with Shina Mudashir, Director of Administration and Finance; Rasaq Momonu, Controller Finance and Account; and Hafeez Yusuf, Cashier, all of the Kwara State Government House, on two counts charge of fraud.
Following an application by the counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Christopher Mshelia, Justice Ashigar ordered that any case relating to the nation’s economy is equivalent to a threat on human life. He therefore ordered the accused remanded in EFCC custody.
In his defense, the counsel to the accused, Abdulwahab Bamidele, had earlier argued that the case bordering on money laundering does not involve human lives.
Bamidele prayed the court to admit his clients to bail.
The EFCC is prosecuting the accused persons for conspiring among themselves to commit fraud on February 15, 2019. The anti-graft agency is alleging that the accused persons made cash payment of N20.3 million to one Energy Multi-Trade Unique Interbiz Limited through the Company’s Chief Executive Officer, Jimoh Sarafadeen Kolade.
EFCC also alleged that the payment was for services rendered to the Kwara State Government House whose cash sum exceeded the limit of N10 million payable to a corporate body.
The prosecutor said the offence contravened the provisions of sections 18 (a) and 1(b) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 and punishable under section 16 (2) (b) of the same act.
The case has been adjourned until June 6 for trial.