20th February, 2012
Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arraigned two fraudsters before Justice B.O. Quadri of the Federal High Court, Gombe on charges of counterfeiting and altering of the American dollar as well as obtaining money under false pretences.The suspects: Sanusi Nalado and Sani Ahmed were arraigned on a three and two count charge respectively..
Nalado’s road to court began in January 2010, when he approached one Alhaji Mohammed Ahmed Toungo, a Gombe-based retired civil servant and convinced him into being an Islamic propagator with support from a Saudi Arabian Propagation Agency which Nalado claimed he had strong contacts with.
Toungo was told the agency would fund all his Da’awah projects, including building of mosques, schools, vehicles, books, etc. He was asked to pay some money for processing of registration documents and logistics into a Unity Bank account number in Kaduna bearing Sanusi Nalado’s name. From time to time, Nalado kept coming back and asking for money to meet one obligation or the other, all in the guise of facilitating the receipt of the expected funds from Saudi Arabia .
Calls were also made to assuage and reassure Toungo that his application was receiving attention and that monies to start the projects would soon be sent to him in foreign currency. After such calls, Nalado would make financial demands from him which he would oblige. The money obtained from Toungo by Nalado severally totalled N7, 317,000 (seven million three hundred and seventeen naira).
In a move to assuage the doubts of his victim, later in January 2011, Salado brought a sealed box to Toungo’s house which he claimed contained $2million as the first installments from the Saudi agency. Nalado told him not to open it, until prayers and purification were made on the box, while still asking Toungo to bring more money for purification.
Toungo, at this juncture, had to report to the EFCC Gombe zonal office. Nalado was arrested in Abuja after over a year of being on his trail. Upon investigation, the sealed box was brought to the EFCC office and opened in the presence of both parties. The box was discovered to contain 2,353 pieces of Bank of America’s $100 notes resembling the American legal tender. Information sought from Unity Bank confirmed Nalado as the owner and operator of the account Toungo had been lodging money in.
When the charge was read to the accused person, he pleaded not guilty. EFCC counsel, Abubakar Aliyu then pleaded for a date to call his witnesses. Justice Quadri adjourned the case to March 15th 2012 for hearing while asking the accused person to be remanded in prison custody.
Sani Ahmed was also remanded in prison custody by Justice Quadri for being in possession of fake N1000 notes. He was apprehended in a business centre in Gombe metropolis, where he was found to be using a computer printer to scan the N1000 notes which he would print out with the aid of a computer printer and then cut and trim to size. When caught, Ahmed claimed he was experimenting with it for schooling purposes but he was later found not to be a student as he earlier claimed.