The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned Mr. Aliyu Muhammad Wapa before Justice Faruk Lawan of the Kano State High Court, on a one-count charge bordering on obtaining a visa by false pretence.
According to the anti-graft agency, Wapa of Makwarari Quarters of Municipal Local Government Area of the state, had paraded himself as International Air Transport Association Agent, and had allegedly collected the sum of N500,000 from one Hajiya Umma Aliyu of Yakasai, as payment for the lesser Hajj (Umrah), with a written agreement that, the visa would be issued to her within 14 days.
The suspect, however, failed to deliver on the terms of the agreement, and it was later discovered that he was not a registered travel agent with the National Hajj Commission.
After efforts by the victim to recover her money were unsuccessful, she reported the case to the police.
The one-count charge read to Wapa by the EFCC cousel reads:
“That you, Aliyu Muhammad Wapa, on or about 15th March, 2015, at Kano within the jurisdiction of the High Court of Kano State, with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of N500,000.00 (Five Hundred Thousand Naira) only, from one Hajiya Umma Aliyu, for which you acknowledged receiving using the receipt of your registered Business Name (Al-Majmuatul Khairiyya international Ventures ) under the pretence that you would secure Umrah Visa (lesser Hajj) for her which pretence you knew to be false and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.”
The accused pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to him and the counsel to EFCC, B. M. Buhari, urged the court to fix a date for hearing.
Justice Lawal granted the accused bail in the sum of N500, 000, and one surety in like sum, while adjourning to case to April 7, 2016, for trial.