NIS Recruitment Scam: Court Adjourns Moro’s Trial to March 29

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Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court, Abuja on Wednesday, adjourned to March 29, 2018 for continuation of hearing of a case of procurement fraud and money laundering involving Abba Moro, a former Interior Minister, and three others.
Moro, alongside one time permanent secretary in the ministry, Anastasia Daniel-Nwobia; a deputy director in the ministry, F. O Alayebami; one Mahmood Ahmadu (at large), and Drexel Tech Nigeria Limited are being prosecuted on an 11-count charge bordering on procurement fraud and money laundering by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Drexel Tech Nigeria Limited was the company which the Ministry of Interior awarded the contract for provision of online enlistment and e-recruitment service for the NIS recruitment which took place on March 17, 2013 that claimed the lives of over 20 applicants in various centres across the country when Moro (the first defendant in the suit) was interior minister.
They were alleged to have defrauded a total of 675,675 Nigerian job applicants to the tune of N675,675,000 representing N1000 per applicant through e-payment for their online recruitment exercise into the Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS.
The defendants had pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against them, prompting the case to enter full trial.
At the resumed sitting today, Aliyu Yusuf, counsel to the EFCC, led in evidence the seventh prosecution witness, Aderenle Lekan Salami, who presented transaction report between Drexel Tech Nigeria Ltd and Pay4me to the court.
Salami, a banker with Nigeria Inter-bank Settlement System, NIBSS, told the court that “sometime in 2014, EFCC made inquiries to NIBSS in relation to a transaction involving ‘Pay4me’ and Drexel Tech Ltd., requesting Pay4me to bring transaction report alongside the Certificate of Identification”.
He also told the court that he wrote a statement in respect of what the transaction was meant for.
According to the PW7, the transaction report showed amounts pulled from various banks in respect of collection made by ‘Pay4me’ as well as amount being paid to Drexel, Pay4me charges and NIPSS charges.
The transaction report was admitted in evidence.
Under cross-examination by counsel representing Drexel Tech Nigeria Ltd (4th Defendant), S. I. Ameh, SAN, Salami told the court that “there are three major beneficiaries – Pay4me Services, NIBSS Plc and Drexel”.
The witness, while responding to a question on whether the money was for services rendered said that, “I can only say for NIBSS which was for services rendered”.
According to him, the payment to NIBSS was made in two tranches – N1,009,600.19 and N244,544,549.90.
Salami added that to the best of his knowledge, the transaction was a commercial transaction but could not confirm if it was an illegal transaction. He added that the narration for the payment is “Civil Defence Fire Immigration Prison Board”.
The case was thereafter adjourned for continuation of trial.

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