Alleged N24.7m Fraud: EFCC Re-arraigns Etok…

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Alleged N24.7m Fraud: EFCC Re-arraigns Etok

The Uyo Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC, on Monday, December 7, 2020, re-arraigned Nkereuwem Akpan Etok, before Justice Justice A.A.Okeke of the Federal High Court, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

The defendant, a former director, Akwa Ibom State Agency for the Control of AIDS was re-arraigned on amended six-count charge, bordering on alleged embezzlement and diversion of fund, belonging to the Agency to the tune of N24, 700, 200.00 (Twenty-four Million, Seven Hundred Thousand, Two Hundred Naira).

Included as additional defendant in the amended charge is Peter Uduak Christopher, who allegedly aided Etok in the diversion of the funds, earmarked for AIDS control outreach, sensitisation, HIV testing/counseling and process screening in the state.

One of the charges read, “That you Dr. Nkereuwem Akpan Etok, between 26th and 28th November, 2018 at Uyo, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, while being director and project supervisor of Akwa Ibom State Agency for the Control of AIDS, did convert the sum of N24, 700, 200.00 (Twenty-four Million, Seven Hundred Thousand, Two Hundred Naira), knowing that the said fund is a proceed of your unlawful act to wit: corruption, and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(2)(b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (As Amended) and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.”

Another read, “That you Peter Uduak Christopher, between 26th and 28th November 2018 at Uyo, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did aid Dr. Nkereuwem Akpan Etok (first defendant) to disguise the origin of the source of the sum of N24, 700, 200.00 (Twenty-four Million, Seven Hundred Thousand, Two Hundred Naira) which you reasonably ought to have known is a proceed of an unlawful act to wit: corruption, and thereby committed an offence, contrary to Section 18( a) of the Money Laundering ( Prohibition) Act 2011 (As Amended ) and punishable under Section 15 (13) of the same Act.”

They pleaded “not guilty” to the charges, following which prosecution counsel, Soares Adebayo urged the court to remand them in the custody of a correctional centre in the state, while defence counsel, Prince Uwak Umoh informed the court of his November 26, 2020, bail application for the defendants, disclosing further that a surety for second defendant has been provided.

Justice A.A.Okeke granted bail to the second defendant in the sum of N3 million and a surety in like sum. The surety, he ruled, must have a landed property within the jurisdiction of the court, verified by the EFCC. While he ordered for the remand of the second defendant in EFCC’s custody, until he fulfils his bail condition, the first defendant will continue to enjoy the bail, earlier granted him by the court.

The matter was adjourned till February 8, 2021, for continuation of trial.

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Source: EFCC News