N54.5m Fraud: Court Stops Investigation of Prisons Boss
BEVERLY HILLS, September 05, (THEWILL) – Justice Valentine B. Ashi of the FCT High Court sitting in Abuja on Wednesday, September 3, 2014 refused the application of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in which it sought to set aside an earlier order by the court restraining the Commission from arresting Ali Bala Salihi, an Assistant Comptroller General, Nigeria Prison Service, over his alleged involvement in a case of criminal diversion of funds.
The EFCC had in July 2014 invited Salihi to respond to the petition filed against him by Coscharis Motors Limited.
Salihi turned down the Commission's invitation on two occasions, before obtaining an ex-parte order from Justice Ashi restraining the EFCC from further action in respect of the case, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive motion.
Counsel to EFCC, Dian N. Nkwap had asked the court to vacate the order “as the respondent will not carry out any act that will infringe on the rights of the suspect,” adding that he was only invited to state his side of the case which he failed to do.
Salihi was alleged to have diverted the sum of N54, 375,793.00 (fifty four million, three hundred and seventy five thousand, seven hundred and ninety three naira) being the value of 491 units of motorcycle supplied by Coscharis Motors Limited to the Nigeria Prisons, Bauchi Zonal Command sometime in 2010 when he held sway as the Zonal Commander.
The petitioner, Coscharis Motors Limited, stated that, the motorcycles were supplied to the Zonal Prisons Multipurpose Cooperative Society under motorcycle loan scheme.
The Cooperative Society allegedly defaulted in the payment of the loan and paid part of the proceeds of the sales directly into Salihi's personal bank account at Unity, Zenith, UBA and Ecobank respectively.
Efforts to recover the money, according to the petitioner, were unsuccessful hence the petition.