EFCC arrests Kwara businessman for N170m contract scam

80

The Ilorin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Monday, February 5, arraigned a businessman, Alexander Adeniran Babarinde over alleged involvement in contract scam, obtaining money under false pretence and forgery.

The EFCC charged Babarinde, his firm, Ajays Engineering Limited, and one Suleiman Muhammed (who is presently at large), with eight counts of obtaining under false pretences before Justice Mahmud Abdulgafar of the Kwara State High Court in Ilorin.

The defendants allegedly received significant sums of money from the complainant under the guise of sponsoring and carrying out some Federal Government contracts.

The petitioner alleged that Babarinde brought some contract awards letters from Ecological Fund Management Committee Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Development, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Umaru Musa Yar’adua University, Katsina Universal Basic Education Commission, National Research Institute for Chemical Technology. But, findings by the EFCC revealed that the letters were forged and never emanated from the said government agencies.

It was gathered that the defendants had obtained money to the tune of N170million from the petitioner as capital to execute the non-existent contracts. All attempts to recover the money however proved abortive.

Count three of the charges against him reads:

“That you, Alexander Adeniran Babarinde, Ajaya Engineering Ltd and Suleiman(Still at Large), Mohammed, sometime between the months of January 2021 and December 2021, in Ilorin Kwara State, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with intent to defraud, did obtain the sum of N30,530,300.00 (Thirty Million, Five Hundred and Thirty Thousand, Three Hundred Naira) from one Ezekiel Ola Babarinde as fees for the funding and execution of Federal Government contracts and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act”

Count four of the charges read:

“That you,Alexander Adeniran Babarinde,Ajay’s Engineering Ltd and Suleiman Mohammed (Still at large), sometime between January 2022 and December 2022, in Ilorin, Kwara State, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with intent to defraud did obtain the sum of N6,655,009.00 (Six Million, Six Hundred and fifty thousand from one Ezekiel Ola Babatunde as fees for the funding and execution of Federal Government contracts and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offence Act, 2006 and Punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act”

The defendant pleaded not guilty to all the charges when they were read to him

Following his plea, counsel to the EFCC, Rasheedat Alao urged the court to remand the defendant (Babarinde) in the custody of the Nigeria Correctional Service and give a date for trial to enable the prosecution to prove its case.

Justice Abdulgafar ordered that the defendant be remanded at the Correctional Service and adjourned the case till March 13, 2024 for trial.