Now the first step to justice has been taken, Former minister of Interior Abba Moro was this morning sent to Kuje prison by Justice Anwuli Chikere of the Federal High Court in Abuja over his alleged complicity in a N676m immigration recruitment scam. Also remanded in prison custody was a Deputy Director in the ministry, Mr. F. O Alayebami. I just wish that they get locked in that Kuje prisons and the keys thrown away. Abba Moroand his cohorts do not even deserve any trial.
The decision was taken by the court after he pleaded not guilty to an 11-count criminal charge that was preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. Though bail was granted to 2nd defendant, Mrs. Anastasia Daniel-Nwobia, who was a former Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Interior when the alleged fraud was committed due to the fact that she was a nursing mother, so was exempted from being sent to Kuje prison for the main time.
The EFCC earlier told the court that one of the accused persons, Mahmood Ahmadu, who was a Director at Drexel Tech Nigeria Ltd, a firm that was allegedly used to perpetuate the botched March 15, 2014 Immigration recruitment exercise that killed no fewer than 20 job seekers across the country, is currently at large. The charge against the accused persons borders on obtaining by false pretence, procurement fraud and money laundering.
The anti-graft agency categorically alleged that the defendants defrauded 676,675 Nigerian applicants of N676,675,000 (Six Hundred and Seventy Six Million, Six Hundred and Seventy Five Thousand Naira) as each of the 676,675 applicants were charged N1,000 each for participating in the ill-fated Immigration recruitment exercise.
The defendants were also alleged to have flouted the Public Procurement Act, No. 65 of 2007 in the award of the contract for the organisation of the recruitment test to Drexel Tech Nigeria Ltd.
The EFCC stated that its investigations revealed that the firm which it said was not validly registered to operate in Nigeria, never bided for the contract, adding that the contract was awarded through selective tendering procedure by invitation of 4 (Four) firms without seeking the approval of the Bureau for Public Procurement, contrary to sections 40, 42 and 43 of the Public Procurement Act, No. 65 of 2007 and punishable under section 58 of the same act.
Meanwhile, the case has been adjourned by Justice Chikere till next week Wednesday to consider whether or not the ex-Minister and his alleged accomplice should be released on bail pending their trial.