20th January, 2022
The Kaduna Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Thursday, January 20, 2022 arraigned one Wasila Musa Ibrahim and her company, Najaatu Petroleum Limited, before Justice Mohammed Nasir Yunusa at the Federal High Court, Kano.
They were arraigned on a 10-count charge bordering on money laundering and tax evasion.
The complainant, alleged that sometime in 2020 the defendant approached him with a business proposal for the supply of Diesel and Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) to a company known as Lee Group. The defendant collected a sum of Thirty Eight Million, Two Hundred Thousand Naira (N38, 200,000.00) from the complainant and his family members to execute the business but diverted the money for her personal use.
When the complainant requested for a refund, the defendant claimed she gave the money to one Alhaji Lawan who had absconded and could not be reached.
In the course of investigation, it was discovered that there was no evidence to show that the defendant invested the said money.
It was also discovered that her company, Najaatu Petroleum Limited evaded tax payment from January 2013 to 2020.
One of the counts reads: “That you, Wasila Musa Ibrahim “F”, sometime in October, 2020, in Kano within the Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did make cash payment of the sum of N38,200,000.00(Thirty Eight Million and Two Hundred Thousand Naira) only to one Alhaji Lawan for the purchase of five (5) trucks of Diesel without passing through a financial institution and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (As Amended) and punishable under Section 16(2) (b) of the same Act”.
Another count reads: “That you, Wasila Musa Ibrahim “F”, Managing Director of Najaatu Petroleum Limited and Najaatu Petroleum Limited sometime in January, 2013 in Kano, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did fail to pay your company income tax for the year 2013 to the Federal Inland Revenue Service and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 9 (1) (a) of the Companies Income Tax Act, 2004 and punishable under Section 82 of the same Act”.
The defendant pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the charges.
In view of her plea, the prosecution counsel, Y.J Matiyak, prayed the court to fix a date for hearing and remand the defendant in the EFCC custody. But the defence counsel, Suleiman Abdulrahim informed the court of a pending application for bail of the defendant and asked that his client be admitted to bail.
However, Matiyak opposed the application.
Justice Yunusa, after listening to the arguments counsel, adjourned the matter till February 8, 2022 for hearing of bail application and remanded the defendant in EFCC custody