Justice Fatun Riman of the Federal High Court sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State on Thursday, granted bail to one Umoh Uko Archibong, a fake contractor who is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC for obtaining N39, 000, 000. 00 (Thirty-nine million naira) by false pretence.
The defendant was arraigned by the Uyo Zonal Office of the Commission on Wednesday, February 10, 2021 on a four-count charge bordering on forgery and obtaining by false pretence to the tune of N39, 000, 000. He pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.
The defendant allegedly collected a cumulative sum of N39million from some persons under the guise of investing in a contract to supply laterite sand to Hensek Integrated Service Limited, a construction company, through his company, Umotech Global Resources, but diverted the funds.
One of the counts reads: “That you Umoh Uko Archibong “M” on or about April, 2019, in Nigeria, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did fraudulently obtain the sum of N16, 375, 000.00 from one Chimezie Samuel under the pretense that you are a supplier of laterite sand to HENSEK INTEGRATED SERVICES LIMITED which pretense you know to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act”.
S.R Akinrinlade, counsel to the EFCC asked the court for a trial date and for the defendant to be remanded in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Service.
However, the defence counsel, Ifiok Charles, who held the brief of Akebong Essien informed the court about the pending bail application and prayed the court to grant the defendant bail in liberal terms.
Akinrinlade opposed the bail application.
After listening to the arguments of counsel, Justice Riman adjourned the matter to today for ruling.
Delivering the ruling, Justice Riman granted the defendant bail in the sum of N20m and one surety in like sum. The surety must be a civil servant of Grade Level 10.
The matter was adjourned till March 3, 2021 for trial.