How Fake EFCC Officials Tried To Defraud Benue Gov

Bulus Ashom Agwom & Ezekiel Ajik Azi

Bulus Ashom Agwom & Ezekiel Ajik Azi

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Monday, June 3, 2013, told Justice E.N. Kpojime of the Benue State High Court, Makurdi how Mark Gbaa (alias Nasiru Nasamu), Ezekiel Ajik Azi, Bulus Ashom Agwom and Nuhu Bawa Atangs allegedly conspired to impersonate officials of the Commission in an attempt to swindle Governor Gabriel Suswam of Benue State, northcentral Nigeria of US$3 million.

At the resumed hearing of the case, Julius Donmo, a member of the Police Mobile Force and orderly to Governor Suswam and Aliu Dikko, a senior DSS officer were led in evidence by counsel to EFCC Joseph Uzor.

They gave detailed account of how the accused persons attempted to deceive Suswam into believing that they were Operatives of EFCC investigating a non- existent fraud perpetrated by his Commissioner for Finance.

Bulus Ashom Agwom & Ezekiel Ajik Azi
Bulus Ashom Agwom & Ezekiel Ajik Azi

Donmo narrated how he was contacted by the first accused person, Mike Gbaa claiming to be a high level officer from EFCC wishing to see the governor to help stop investigation of fraud against his government.

He revealed how after series of calls and text messages, Bulus Ashom Agwom and Nuhu Bawa Atangs were arrested when they came to collect the agreed sum of $3 million by operatives of the Department of State Security.

The first accused was later arrested through his phone.

In his testimony, Dikko identified the accused persons as the suspects arrested and brought to him by his operatives for an alleged crime of impersonation and fraud.

He disclosed that they were subsequently interrogated and made statements under caution.

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As the statements were to be tendered, the defence counsel, J.B. Damboi, opposed the admissibility of the documents on the grounds that they were allegedly obtained under duress.

The development prompted the prosecution counsel to ask for a trial within trial to ascertain the veracity of the defence claim.

The trial judge thereafter adjourned till 2 July, 2013 for trial within trial.

The accused persons are facing a six-count charge of impersonation, forgery and criminal conspiracy to obtain the sum of $3 million from Governor Gabriel Suswam of Benue State.

They were alleged to have conspired to falsely present themselves as officers of EFCC who are investigating the accounts of Benue State Local Government and had sought for the sum of $3 million to “kill” the case.

In a bid to actualise the scheme, one of them, Bulus Ashom Agom, who was dismissed from the Nigerian Police Force in June 2012, was alleged to have forged a Nigerian Police warrant of arrest card No. 35231 which he presented to the governor.

Thereafter, Governor Suswam alerted the Department of State Security, DSS, operatives who arrested and handed them over to the EFCC.

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