The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, today arraigned Mustapha Audu, the son of the former governor of Kogi State, Abubakar Audu, before the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Abuja for obtaining about N18 million under false pretences.
Mustapha is charged along with his wife, Zahrah M. Audu, and their company, Constructor Guild Limited.
According to a press statement by the EFCC, one of the charges against the accused persons reads, “That you Mustapha Audu, Zahra M. Audu in your capacity as Directors of Constructors Guild Limited and Constructors Guild Limited on or about the 7th day of January 2010 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable court obtained the sum of three Million naira from one Nike Kolawole under the pretence of helping her to get a four bedroom townhouse at Ruskin Terrace situate at Katampe Extension Abuja, which 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.”
The accused persons pleaded not guilty to the three count charge, following which their counsel, Kingsley Akpokona, moved a motion for bail on their behalf. The application was opposed by the prosecution counsel, Mr. Samuel Ugwuegbulam, who asked the court for time to respond to it.
Consenting to the that request, Justice Abubakar Sadiq Umar remanded Mustapha in Kuje prison, but allowed his wife, Zahrah, to continue to enjoy the administrative bail earlier granted to her.
The case will resume on Thursday, February 28, during which the court will hear Mustapha’s application.
Meanwhile, Mustapha’s father, Abubakar Audu, who was governor of Kogi State from 1999-2003, is himself facing corruption charges of his own at the High Court of Lokoja, where the EFCC slammed him with 80-counts of conspiracy, stealing and misappropriation of public funds.
On December 20, 2012, the former governor was declared wanted by the EFCC in connection with a theft of N4 billion. Unconfirmed reports said he fled Nigeria for the State of Maryland, United States, where he owns several multi-million dollar homes purchased from stolen public funds, and where he once evicted his wife and children from one of his properties.