N1.4bn alleged fraud: ‎FG docks Peace Corps boss on 90-count charge

The Federal Government on Wednesday arraigned the Commandant of the Peace Corps of Nigeria, Dr Dickson Akoh and the Incorporated Trustees of the Corps, a 90-count criminal charges bordering on alleged conversion of money directly derived from extortion to the tune of about N1.4 billion.

The Peace Corps of Nigeria boss pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against him and the Incorporated Trustees of the Corps by the Federal Government and the prosecution counsel, Aminu Kayode Aliyu asked the court for a date to commence trial and that the defendants be remanded in prison custody.

Counsel to the defendants, John Ochogwu had, in an application filed on March 23, 2017 prayed the court to grant the defendants bail in self recognisance or on liberal terms, pending the hearing and determination of the criminal charges against them.

According to Ochogwu, the bail application, which was supported by an 18-paragraph affidavit was hinged on nine grounds, adding that the court needs to exercise it’s discretion in granting the defendants bail, since the first defendant (Akoh) has been on administrative bail granted him by the complainant (Police),

He said the defendants are willing and ready to face their trial if granted bail and are also ready to comply with the bail conditions that maybe given by the court.

The prosecution, represented by Aminu Alilu in an 18-paragraph counter affidavit to the bail application of the defendants, prayed the court to deny the defendants bail on the ground that the defendants will interfere with prosecution witnesses in the matter.

Ruling however on the bail application, the trial Judge, Justice John Tsoho agreed with the defence counsel that the offences for which the defendants were charged were bailable and dismissed the objection of the prosecution.

The Judge said the prosecution has not placed any reason before the court to deny the defendants the bail they requested for.

Justice Tsoho then granted the defendants a N10 million bail and one surety in the sum of N20 million, who must be a resident of Abuja and an owner of valuable property.

Other conditions the bail of the Peace Corps boss is that the surety must submit the title document of the property to the Deputy Chief Registrar of the court and that the International passport of the first defendant must be deposited with the court.

Two recently snapped passport photographs of the first defendant and that of the surety must also be deposited with the court.

After delivering his ruling on the bail application of the Peace Corps boss and the Incorporated Trustees of the Corps, Justice Tsoho slated May 23, 2017 to commence trial.

In the charge marked FHC/ABJ/CR/45/2017, filed by the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), the defendants were charged for wearing of uniforms and other identification marks contrary to section 24 (1) of the Private Guard Companies Act Cap P30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, and punishable under section 32 (1) of the Act.

The charge filed by Aminu Alilu, an Assistant Chief State Counsel on behalf of the AGF and Minister of Justice also accused the defendants of laundering of funds obtained through unlawful activity contrary to section 7(1)(b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other fraud related Offences Act, Cap A6 laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and punishable under the same section of the Act.


The Federal government also accused the defendants of obtaining money by false pretence contrary to section 1(1)(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other fraud related Offences Act, Cap A6 laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and punishable under the same section of the Act.

They were also charged in count 86 for organising and training of members of Peace Corps of Nigeria as a quasi- Military organization contrary to section 6(1)(a) of the Public Order Act, Cap P42, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and punishable under the same section of the Act.

Count 88 of the charge accused the defendants of unauthorised display of flags contrary to section 7(4)(b) of the Public Order Act, Cap P42, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and punishable under the same section of the Act.

In count 89, the prosecution accused the defendants of operating as a private guard without licence contrary to section 1(1) of the Private Guard Companies Act Cap P30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, and punishable under section 32 (1) of the Act.

Under the offence of obtaining money by false pretence, the Federal government alleged that Dickson Akoh and Incorporated Trustees of Peace Corps of Nigeria, had between January 1, 2013 and March 6, 2017 in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, Abuja, did commit an offence to wit: by false pretence and with intent to defraud, obtained for yourselves the sum of N274, 712, 126. 18 from unsuspecting citizens of Nigeria who paid into your Eco bank’s account No. 4582022099.

Some of the charges reads: “That you Dickson Akoh and Incorporated Trustees of Peace Corps of Nigeria, both of Peace Corps of Nigeria Headquarters, Jabi, Abuja, on or about June 24, 2016, at Abuja, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, Abuja, did conduct a financial transactions when you transferred the proceeds of unlawful activity to wit: the sum of N60m obtained by false pretence to one Mukthar Dantata which said transaction you designed to conceal or disguise the nature, location, source or ownership of the said money.

“That you Dickson Akoh and Incorporated Trustees of Peace Corps of Nigeria, both of Peace Corps of Nigeria Headquarters, Jabi, Abuja, on or about June 24, 2016, at Abuja, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, Abuja, did commit an offence to wit: by false pretence and with intent to defraud, obtained for yourselves the sum of N42, 428, 000.00 from Peace Corps of Nigeria which was paid into your United Bank of Africa’s account No. 1005250986.

“That you Dickson Akoh and Incorporated Trustees of Peace Corps of Nigeria, both of Peace Corps of Nigeria Headquarters, Jabi, Abuja, on or about February 8, 2016, at Abuja, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, Abuja, did commit an offence to wit: by false pretence and with intent to defraud, obtained for yourselves the sum of N45, 500,000.00 from Peace Corps of Nigeria which was paid into your United Bank of Africa’s account No. 1005250986.”

Following the raid at its headquarters in Abuja and subsequent arrest and detention of its Commandant and 49 others by a combined team of Police and DSS, the Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN) filed a N2 billion suit against the AGF, Inspector –General of Police (IGP) and the Director-General of the Department of State Service (DSS).

In the suit instituted by a former AGF  and Minister of Justice Mr Kanu Agabi (SAN), the plaintiffs are demanding for a sum of N2 billion as compensation for the embarrassment caused the Peace Corps of Nigeria and its Incorporated Trustees by the arrest and detention of its personnel carried out in a commando style by the security operatives.

In the suit filed at the Federal High Court in Abuja, the plaintiffs are asking the court to declare as illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional the arrest of Ambassador Akoh and other officers of the Corps as well as the sealing up of its Head office in Abuja and offices in the 36 States of the Federation.

Plaintiffs further asked the court to declare that under the 1999 constitution as amended, they have not committed any offence to warrant their arrest, detention and sealing up of their offices across the country as done by the defendants.

The defendants in the suit are, Police, IGP, National Security Adviser (NSA), DSS, DG-DSS and the AGF who are 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th respondents respectively.

Apart from the above reliefs, the plaintiffs asked the court to declare that the sealing up of their office Headquarters in Abuja is illegal, unlawful, malicious and unconstitutional haven not committed any offence to warrant the unlawful invasion and seizure of properties.


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