The Uyo Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arraigned one Idongesit Samuel Eyibio before the Federal High Court, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, presided over by Justice A. A. Okeke, on a one-count charge, bordering on concealing and misleading information to investigators in the Uyo Zonal Office of the Commission in his petition.
Eyibio’s problem started when he signed a petition, alleging a case of lottery fraud against the Akwa Ibom State Government and one Anietie Ekong of Papi Events and Promotions Limited, but deliberately withheld vital information, which he failed to capture in his petition and statement to the Commission.
Eyibio’s volunteered petition was not approve by the Commission, because it was considered a civil case and this infuriated the petitioner, prompting him to head to Brekete Family Radio Station on 101.1FM, (a Human Rights Radio Station in Abuja), where he levelled several allegations against the Commission.
In his statement to the Radio station, Eyibio alleged that the anti-graft agency was selective in cases brought before it.
To clear itself on the allegations, the EFCC revisited Eyibio’s petition and assigned the matter to some of the Commission’s investigators to re-investigate Eyibio’s allegations as contained in his petition. He was informed that civil matters are outside the purview of the Commission.
Unfortunately for the accused, investigations revealed that he had previously taken the same matter to a state High Court, in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, where he lost the case on January 4, 2019, a fact Eyibio deliberately concealed from the EFCC.
It was also discovered that contrary to Eyibio’s claim that he won a lottery, but was denied his win for no reason, Eyibio actually breached the terms and conditions of the lottery by transferring his winning tickets to other individuals and proxies to clandestinely claim the houses he won through proxies, hence, the disqualification.
These discoveries led the EFCC to charged Eyibio for ‘concealing vital information’ from the Commission and thereby misleading investigation.
The one-count charge reads, “That you Idongesit Samuel Eyibio, ‘M’ on or about the 24th day of July, 2019 at Uyo, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did make a statement to officers of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, via a written petition, addressed to the office of the said Commission which to your knowledge was intended to mislead the officers of the Commission in investigating the petition and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 39 (2) (a) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Establishment Act 2004 and punishable under Section 39 (2) (b) of the same Act.”
Eyibio pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the charge, prompting, prosecution counsel, Adebayo Soares, to pray the court for a trial date and to remand the defendant in prison custody.
Justice A. A. Okeke adjourned till March 27, for continuation of hearing and ordered that the defendant be remanded in prison custody.