Seven FIRS officials, ex-directors re-arraigned for fraud

naira money cash

Some top officials of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FRIS) and two former directors have been re-arraigned before Justice Bolaji Olajuwon of the Federal High Court (FHC), Abuja on fraud allegations.

Justice Olajuwon had fixed June 23 for arraignment when the matter came up before her after counsel to the anti-corruption agency, Ekele Iheanacho, informed the court that the matter was formally before a sister judge, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, who had been transfered to the Calabar division.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on March 11 arraigned Peter Hena, former coordinating director; Mohammed Auta, ex-finance director, and seven other staff of FIRS before Justice Ojukwu.

The others are Aminu Sidi, Umar Aduku, Mbura Mustapha, Obi Malachy, Obaje Adofu, Udo-Inyang Alfred and Benjamin Jiya.

The defendants, who were arraigned on 42-count charge bordering on corruption, fraud and criminal misappropriation of funds running into millions and punishable under the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended in 2012), were granted bail in the sum of N100 million with a surety in the like sum.

Ojukwu had further ruled that the surety must be resident within the jurisdiction of the court and must swear to affidavit of means commensurate with the bail sum, among others.

Taking their plea before Justice Olajuwon, the defendants pleaded not guilty to all the counts and their counsel prayed the court to allow them to continue to enjoy the earlier bail as granted by Ojukwu since none of the defendants had breached any of the bail terms.

The judge admitted them to the bail terms as earlier granted and adjourned the matter until September 28 for trial to begin.