Home » NIS Recruitment Scam: EFCC Vows To Appeal Morro’s Acquittal

NIS Recruitment Scam: EFCC Vows To Appeal Morro’s Acquittal

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has vowed to appeal the judgment delivered by Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja wherein he discharged and acquitted Senator Abba Morro of all charges preferred against him by the anti-graft agency.

The Agency averred that the trial court erred in discharging the former Minister of Interior and his co-defendant, Femi O Alayebami, a Deputy Director in the Ministry

Meanwhile, Justice Dimgba found guilty and convicted a former Permanent Secretary in the same Ministry, Anastasia Daniel-Nwobia on charges of fraud arising from the controversial 2014 Nigeria Immigration Service recruitment but deferred her sentencing till 17th April 2022.

The former Permanent Secretary was prosecuted by the EFCC, alongside Senator Abba Morro, Femi O Alayebami, one Mahmood Ahmadu (at large), and Drexel Tech Nigeria Ltd.

They were initially arraigned on 11 count charges bordering on procurement fraud and money laundering for allegedly defrauding applicants for employment in the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) to the tune of Six Hundred and Seventy-Five Million, Six Hundred and Seventy-Five Thousand Naira (N675,675,000.00) only.

The amount represents N1, 000 obtained from each applicant through e-payment for the online recruitment exercise on 15th March 2014 – an ill-fated exercise that led to the death of more than 15 applicants.

In the course of the trial, the counts were reduced to 4 (counts 2, 4, 5 and 11) after the court quashed seven counts (counts 1, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10) following a no-case submission by the defendants.

But in his judgment on Thursday 7th April 2022, Justice Dimgba convicted Daniel –Nwobia on count 4 but discharged Morro and Alayebami on all remaining four counts.

The court in convicting Daniel- Nwobia, held that as the accounting officer of the Ministry, it was her responsibility to ensure compliance with the Public Procurement Act and, having found that there was no approval from the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) before inviting the four companies, found her guilty.

On the other hand, the court in exonerating Morro held that the EFCC failed to prove how he abused his position as Minister as he was neither a member of the tenders board nor a member of the committee that recommended the setting up of an e-recruitment portal for the exercise

All the defendants were initially arraigned before Justice Anwuli Chikere of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

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