Economic and Financial Crimes Commission
By Davies Iheamnachor – Port Harcourt
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arraigned a former Director of Physical Planning, Architect Pius Ugochukwu Ezeokafor, before a State High Court sitting in Ekwulobia, Anambra State, over an alleged N27 million contract scam.
Ezeokafor, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Architecture, Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Anambra State, is standing trial on three counts bordering on obtaining money by false pretense and gratification to the tune of N27, 000,000.00 (Twenty Seven Million Naira).
One of the charges read: “That you, Arc. Pius Ugochukwu Ezeokafor sometime between the year 2011 and 2012 at Oko, Aguata Local Government Area within the jurisdiction of the High Court of Anambra State, did commit felony to wit: with intent to defraud, obtained by false pretense the sum of N27, 000,000.00 (Twenty Seven Million Naira) from one Emerson Associates Limited and Dr. Okechukwu Enemuo (being Managing Director of Emerson Associates Limited), when you represented to them that you would help them get a contract of N1,000,000,000.00 (One Billion Naira) upon payment of facilitation fee, which pretense you knew to be false and thereby committed an offense.”
When the charges were read, the defendant pleaded not guilty to the three counts preferred against him by the EFCC.
The prosecuting counsel, Fortune Asemebo, had in view of the plea asked for a trial date while the defense counsel Lucius Ogbuagu moved a motion for the bail of the defendant.
However, the trial judge, Justice O. A Ezeoke, after hearing from both counsels, granted the defendant bail in the sum of N10 million with one surety in like sum who must have landed property within the jurisdiction of Court.
Ezeoke noted that the surety must be recommended by a legal practitioner or town union president, and must show evidence of tax clearance for the past three years, and later adjourned till 14th, 21st October, and 5th November 2020 for trial.