Mon. Jun 27th, 2022

A serving member of the House of Representatives, Gabriel Saleh Zock was on Thursday at a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Abuja arraigned over alleged advanced fees fraud.

Zock who represents Kachia Kagarko Federal Constituency of Kaduna State in the House of Representatives was put on trial by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a 2-count charge of allegedly defrauding his victim to the tune of N185 million.

The House of Representatives member was said to have swindled one Adeyemi Kamar of the amount under alleged false pretences.

He had promised to assist the victim influence the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory FCT to secure the Right of Occupancy (R of O) for his property at the Guzape area of Abuja.

However, when the charges were read to him, the lawmaker pleaded not guilty.

EFCC’s counsel, Maryam Aminu Ahmed asked the court to remand the federal lawmaker in prison pending the hearing and determination of his bail application.

The lawmaker who was brought to court from EFCC custody has no legal representation to make case for hearing of his bail motion already filed.

In a bid to rescue him, Justice Halilu Yusuf appointed one Adebara Adeniyi as counsel for him for the purpose of arraignment and bail.

The EFCC counsel, however, stood her ground that the application of the defendant filed on February 9 was not ripe for hearing and that she needed to study and respond to all the fundamental issues raised in the bail motion.

Although Adeniyi made an oral application for the bail of the federal lawmaker with cogent reasons, Justice Yusuf overruled him on the ground that a written application had already been filled by another lawyer.

The Judge subsequently ordered that the lawmaker be remanded in the EFCC’S custody till February 16 when his bail motion would be ripe for hearing.

The charge read in part “That you, Gabriel Saleh Zock sometime in 2015 at Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of One Hundred and Fifty Million Naira (N 150,000,000 00) from one Adeyemi Kamar under the false pretence that you will facilitate and obtain title documents (Right of Occupancy) from the Federal Minister of the Federal Capital Territory for a parcel of land at Guzape District, measuring approximately 1 5Ha (Hectare) which pretence you knew was false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other a Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3 of the same Act.

“That you, Gabriel Saleh Zock sometime in 2015 at Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of Thirty-Five Million Naira (N 35,000,000.00) from one Adeyemi Kamar under the false pretence that you will facilitate and obtain title documents (Right of Occupancy) from the Federal Minister of the Federal Capital Territory for a parcel of land at Guzape District, Cadastral Zone A09, measuring approximately 1,500sqm which pretence you knew was false 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.

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