The immediate past minister of the interior, Abba Moro, has been remanded in prison custody by an Abuja High Court on Monday over his alleged role in the N676 million immigration recruitment scam of 2014.
Moro was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) before Justice Anwuli Chikere on an 11-count charge.
Also standing trial were Anastasia Daniel-Nwobia, who was the permanent secretary of the ministry at the time, a deputy director in the ministry, F. O Alayebami, one Mahmood Ahmadu, who is at large, and Drexel Tech Nigeria Ltd, the company that handled the recruitment exercise.
The judge, according to Guardian reports, sent Moro and Alayebami to jail after the lead prosecuting counsel, Mr. Aliyu Yusuf, applied that the accused persons be remanded in prison. Daniel-Nwobia was, however, granted administrative bail
The EFCC alleged that the accused defrauded 675, 675 applicants of N675,675,000 during the botched immigration recruitment. Each of the 676,675 graduate applicants was charged N1,000 each.
The EFCC also alleged that Moro and his co-accused flouted the Public Procurement Act, No. 65 of 2007 by awarding the organisation of the recruitment test to Drexel Tech, a company which the anti-graft agency said had no prior advertisement and no needs assessment and procurement plan was carried out before the contract was awarded.
According to the anti-graft agency, the contract was awarded through selective tendering procedure by invitation of four firms without seeking the approval of the Bureau for Public Procurement.
The said act was said to be contrary to sections 40, 42 and 43 of the Public Procurement Act, No. 65 of 2007 and punishable under section 58 of the same Act.