The Uyo Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday arraigned the duo of Charles Emmanuel Afaha, a staff of the National Maritime Academy, Oron, and one Engineer Stephen Imo before Justice A. A. Okeke of the Federal High Court, Uyo, for allegedly obtaining the sum of N15,135,750.00 from the coffers of the academy on the pretext of executing contracts which were non-existent.
The duo pleaded not guilty to the three-count charge preferred against them by the commission.
One of the counts against the defendants reads, “That you Engr. Stephen IMO (being the Managing Partner/Chief Executive Officer of Stemo Engineering Services Ltd.), Stemo Engineering Services Limited and Charles Emmanuel Afaha (being a staff of Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron) on or about the 12th day of March, 2018 at Oron within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did attempt to obtain the sum N15, 135, 750 from Maritime Academy of Nigeria, through a letter titled, ‘Contract For The Installation of Aluminum Doors and Windows Vandalised in HND and PGD Lecture Halls At Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, Akwa Ibom State. Re: Submission of Interim Payment Certificate (IPC) N0.2’, contains false pretence to wit: that Messr Stemo Engineering Services Limited rendered services which are covered in the ICP N0.2, and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 8 (b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act”.
In view of their plea, the prosecuting counsel, T. N. Ndifon, immediately prayed the court to remand the defendants in prison and fix a trial date to enable the prosecution prove its case against them. But E. O. Oboho, counsel to Stephen Imo and his company, Stemo Engineering Services, informed the court of a bail application earlier filed for his client.
O. Okezie, counsel to Afaha also prayed the court to allow his client continue on the bail granted him by the court on another matter being prosecuted by the commission.
after hearing the arguments canvassed by all counsel, Justice Okeke ordered that the defendants be remanded in the Nigeria Correctional Service custody and adjourned proceedings to November 13, 2019 for trial.