EFCC Docks Ex-PICOMSS Boss, Atawodi, Businessman For N600m Fraud

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  • To be remanded in Kuje Prison
    Senator Iroegbu in Abuja

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday arraigned the former chairman, Presidential Implementation Committee on Maritime Safety (PICOMSS), Air Vice Marshal Saliu Atawodi (rtd), one Mr. Rabiu Hassan and his company, Hypertech Nigeria Limited, before Justice U.P Kekemeke of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

The duo were docked on a three- count charge of conspiracy, abuse of office and misappropriation of public
funds.

According to the statement from the Head, Media and Publicity, EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwugiaren, the accused persons allegedly defrauded the government to the tune of over N600m through suspicious contracts to procure military boats.

One of the counts reads: ‘‘ That you, AVM Saliu Atawodi (retd.), whilst serving as the Chairman of the Presidential Implementation Committee on Maritime Safety and Security (PICOMSS), Rabiu Hassan and Hypertech (Nig) Ltd on or about the 28th day of November, 2011 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable court with intent to defraud did conspire to obtain property by false pretence to wit: the sum of Six Hundred and Twenty Million Nine Hundred and Ten Thousand Naira (N620,910,0000 , property of the Federal Government under the pretence that the money represents payment for the supply of six piece of K-38 Armored patrol boats to Presidential Implementation Committee on Maritime Safety and Security (PICOMSS) and which pretense you knew was false.’’

After the charges were read, the accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charges when they were read to them.

In view of their pleas, the prosecution counsel, Mohammed Bello, asked the court for a trial date.

However, counsels to the first defendant (Atowodi), Karina Tunyan, (SAN), prayed the court to grant his client bail pending his trial.

Also, counsel to the second defendant, Shareef Mohammed, urged the court to grant his client bail, maintaining that the defendant, whom he described as a whistle blower, had not jumped the administrative bail granted him by the Commission.
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