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EFCC arraigns two brothers over N5m land scam in Akwa Ibom

By Esther Kalu

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC, has arraigned two brothers, Mfon Paul Ekpeowo and Augustine Paul Ekpeowo  for a three count charge bordering on obtaining 5 million under false pretence.

The brothers were said to have allegedly obtained the said sum from Daniel Nelson James,  as payment for a piece of land which had been sold to another buyer by the defendants.

James was said to have only come 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.

During their arraignment before Justice A. A. Okeke of the Federal High Court Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, on Tuesday,  the convicts were said to have pleaded ‘not guilty’ when the charges were read to them in the language that they could understand.

One of the charges against the defendants read: “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 read: “that you Mfon Paul Ekpeowo with the intent to defraud, obtained the sum of 4 million, fifty thousand naira  from one Daniel Nelson James with the pretence that the money was payment for a piece of land 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 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”

In view of their plea, the prosecuting counsel, A. S. Abuh was said to have 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 court was said to have adjourned the case till February 14, 2022 for continuation of trial while the defendants were remanded in the Correctional Centre.

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