The Uyo Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday arraigned two brothers, Mfon Paul Ekpeowo and Augustine Paul Ekpeowo before Justice A. A. Okeke of the Federal High Court Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, on a three-count charge bordering on obtaining by false pretence.
The brothers allegedly obtained the said sum from one Daniel Nelson James as payment for a piece of land which had been sold to another buyer by the defendants. James said he only came to the realisation that he had been duped by the duo, when he tried to commence the development of the plot, but was confronted by the previous buyer who showed up with a Power of Attorney.
One of the charges against the defendants reads: “That you Mfon Paul Ekpeowo and Augustine Paul Ekpeowo between February and September, 2020 in Uyo, conspired among yourselves to obtain money by false pretence and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 8(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.”
Another charge reads: “That you Mfon Paul Ekpeowo with the intent to defraud, obtained the sum of Four Million and Fifty Thousand Naira (N4,050,000:00) from one Daniel Nelson James with the pretence that the money was payment for a piece of landm while you Augustine Paul Ekpeowo on or about the 12th day of September, 2020 in Uyo with the intent to defraud, obtained the sum of One Million Naira (N1,000,000:00) from one Daniel Nelson James under the pretence that the money was payment for a piece of land, the pretext you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(1)(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act”.
They pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the charge. In view of their plea, the prosecuting counsel, A. S. Abuh, prayed the court to fix a date for trial and remand the defendants in the Correctional facility.
But the defence counsel, N. C. Ikono, made an oral application for the bail of his clients but the Court insisted on a formal application.
The matter was adjourned till February 14, 2022, for hearing while the defendants were remanded in the Correctional Centre.