The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned one Francis Onuegbu, an Abuja-based pastor, before a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) high court for alleged forgery.
Onuegbu was arraigned before the court on three count charges of alleged falsification of land documents “with the intent to defraud”.
The EFCC accused him and one Oluwatosin Olowu, who is reportedly at large, of committing the offence in 2003.
The charge sheet read: “Francis Onuegbu and Oluwatosin Olowu (still at large) sometime in 2003 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this court with intent to defraud attempted to obtain property known as Plot 390 Cadastral Zone B19 Katampe Extension under false pretence from the Department of Land Administration and Resettlement MFCT.
“Francis Onuegbu and Oluwatosin (still at large) sometime in 2003 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this court with intent to defraud forged a document titled ‘Department of Land Admin and Resettlement Recommended Application for Approval’ purporting same to be issued and approved by the Honourable Minister, Federal Capital Territory.”
The accused pleaded not guilty to all the charges after which Eucharia Nwankpa, his counsel, filed an application for bail.
She told the court the defendant had paid a series of visits to the commission since January when the case was opened and has also been on administrative bail from the commission.
Aliyu Usman, the EFCC counsel, however opposed the bail application. He asked the judge to tarry a while to enable the commission time to respond to the application.
The presiding judge, A.I. Kutigi, however, dismissed his opposition and granted the defendant a bail of N5 million and one surety in like sum who must be a civil servant, not below the grade level 10.
He subsequently adjourned till October 14 for further hearing.