•Docked in court by EFCC over false alarm
From James Ojo, Abuja
Two persons, Buhari Fannami and Aba-Kura Abdulahi, who allegedly gave false information under the whistle blowing policy of the Federal Government were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), yesterday.
EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, said the duo were arraigned before Justice M. T Salihu of the Federal High Court, Maiduguri, Borno State.
The arraignment came a day after the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, claimed that over 2,500 corruption tips were received since the policy started last year.
She was addressing a town hall meeting to give account of the two-year-old Buhari administration in Abuja.
According to the EFCC, Fannami misled the agency with the information about illegally acquired monies purportedly buried at the residence of one Ba’a Lawan, but the information turned out to be false after the execution of a search warrant.
The charge reads: “That you, Buhari Fannami, on or about the 8th day of May, 2017 at Maiduguri, Borno State, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did make statement to officers of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission under the whistle blowing policy to the effect that large sums of money being the proceeds of crime were buried in the residence Ba’a Lawan at Pompomari Layout along Pompomari Bypass, Maiduguri, which information/statement you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under sections 39 (2) (a) and 39 (2) (b) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act 2004 respectively.”
Uwujaren said the accused person pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Counsel to the prosecution asked for a trial date and prayed the court to remand the accused person in prison pending trial.
Justice Salihu adjourned the matter to June 7 and 8, 2017, for hearing and ordered the accused be remanded in prison.
It was alleged that Ba-Kura Abdullahi also gave false information to the effect that large sum of money in naira and foreign currencies were buried in the residence of Ba’a Lawan.
Justice Salihu adjourned his case to June 7 and 8, 2017 for commencement of trial and ordered the accused to remanded in prison.
The whistle blowing policy was introduced by government last year as part of the war against corruption.
A reward of between five percent and 10 percent of the recovered loot was earmarked for the person who provided the information with a promise to protect the identity of the person.
Adeosun had told her audience: “The whistle blowing policy has made every Nigerian a detective and many of them are not even requesting for compensation.”
Similarly on Monday, Senate President Bukola Saraki disclosed that the Senate was considering anti-corruption legislation to be passed in July:
“At the moment, we are considering for passage into law the following bills: The Whistleblower Protection Bill, which, I am confident, will be passed not later than July 2017; The Proceeds of Crime Bill; The Special Anti-Corruption Court, which would be done through constitutional amendment and; The Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Bill.”