The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Kaduna Zonal Office on Thursday July 2, 2020 arraigned one Eric Peter Jatau before Justice Z. B. Abubakar of the Federal High Court, Kaduna on one-count charge of misleading the officers of the Commission with false information.
The count read: “That you Eric Peter Jatau a civil servant with Kaduna State Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, sometime in July, 2019 in Kaduna within the Judicial Division of this honourable court with intent to mislead the officers of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, gave false information that one Damian Babale is dead which you knew or believed the information to be false and caused the officer to omit the investigation and prosecution of Damian Babale and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 16(1) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act, 2004 and punishable under Section 16(2) of the same Law.”
He pleaded not guilty to charge, prompting EFCC counsel, J. A. Ojogbane, to ask the court for trial date for the defendant to be remanded in EFCC custody pending trial.
Counsel to the defendant, Z. T. Kantoma, however, pleaded with the court to grant his client bail on liberal terms.
Justice Abubakar granted bail to the defendant in the sum of N500,000.00 (Five Hundred Thousand Naira) and one surety in like sum. The surety, the judge added must be a respected member of the society, who must have a landed property within the jurisdiction of the court, which must be verified by the state’s Land Registry. He ordered that the defendant be remanded in EFCC custody pending the perfection of his bail conditions and adjourned the case till September 23, 2020.
The defendant ran into trouble for misleading EFCC investigators by claiming in his statement, that his cousin, Damian Babale, was dead in order to shield him from investigation and prosecution.