The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday arraigned one Johnson Babatola before Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court, Ado Ekiti, on a seven-count charge bordering on advance fee fraud and operation of an illegal polytechnic.
Babatola, a former Principal Manager with the Central Bank of Nigeria, Ado Ekiti branch, was arrested following a petition from the National Board for Technical Education, Kaduna.
He, however, pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to him.The petitioner alleged that he was operating an illegal polytechnic, Teedek Polytechnic, at Ilogbo Ekiti, Ekiti State, and extorting money from students who were not aware of the status of the institution.
One of the counts read, “That you, John Babatola, sometime between the month of August, 2013 and March 2015, at Ilogbo Ekiti, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of N118,000.00 (One Hundred and Eighteen Thousand Naira) from Adakeja Thomas Olusola, when you falsely said the money represented fees towards the award of the National Diploma Certificate by Teedek Polytechnic and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act 2006.”
In view of his plea, the defence counsel, Clatus Nachata, made an oral application for bail to the court, which the prosecution counsel, Sanusi Galadanchi opposed and asked for a trial date.
Justice Taiwo, after listening to the argument of both counsel, granted the accused N2m bail with two sureties in like sum.
One of the sureties, he said, must be the traditional ruler of Ilogbo Ekiti, while the second surety must be one of the sureties used during the administrative bail earlier granted him by the EFCC.
Both sureties were asked to depose to an affidavit while the accused was asked to deposit his international passport with the court.
The judge ordered that the accused person be remanded in prison custody pending the perfection of his bail conditions.