The Maiduguri Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday arraigned one Asabe Lazarus Dibal before Justice Aisha Kumaliya of the Borno State High Court, sitting in Maiduguri on a one-count charge bordering on criminal misappropriation to the tune of N15 million.
The defendant is alleged to have converted the said sum meant for payment to the complainant who was defrauded by the defendant’s son, Nehemiah
Lazarus allegedly collected the money from the complainant but could not pay back as promised. Afterwards, the complainant, the defendant and her son through their lawyers signed an agreement to use the ten vehicles owned by Nehemiah for a ‘‘car hire business’’ and the proceeds derived to pay the complainant monthly until the N15million was fully repaid.
The defendant, who was in the custody of the monthly proceeds from the car hire business however reneged on her promise of paying the monies derived from the business to the complainant as agreed by all parties.
The charge reads: “That you, Asabe Lazarus Dibal, sometimes in 2019 at Maiduguri, Borno State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did dishonestly misappropriated the gross sum of N15, 000,000.00 (Fifteen Million Naira) only belonging to one Bulus Moses and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 308 of the Penal Code Cap 102 Laws of Borno State of Nigeria and punishable under Section 309 of the same Law.”
The defendant pleaded ‘not guilty’ when the charge was read to her.
Prosecution counsel, Fatsuma Muhammad, asked for a trial date and urged the court to remand the defendant pending the outcome of the case.
But counsel for the defendant, A. M. Balami applied for bail for his client.
Justice Kumaliya after listening to both parties granted the defendant bail.
In her words: ‘‘The defendant is admitted to bail in the sum of N20m with two sureties in like sum.
‘‘The sureties must be residents of Borno State and one of the sureties must depose an affidavit of ‘means’ to the Registrar of the court and must attend court sittings in company with the Defendant.’’
The case was adjourned till November 11, 2021, for commencement of trial.