An Ikeja High Court, Lagos has remanded a whistleblower, Lord Umoh Archibong Edem, in prison custody for raising false alarm over an alleged N700 million pension and tax evasion fraud.

Edem was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday on a one-count charge bordering on making false statement to a public officer before Justice Hakeem Oshodi.

EFCC prosecutor, S. O. Daji told the court that the defendant committed the alleged offence on August 7, 2019, in Lagos.

Daji said that the defendant provided false information to a public officer and the EFCC about the involvement of a company, Starsonic/Sacvin Group of Nigeria, where he is an employee, in a pension and tax evasion fraud.

“The defendant claimed that the management and staff of the company were involved in massive pension fraud, tax evasion and other fraudulent activities to the tune of N700 million,” Daji said.

The prosecutor added that the offence of making a false statement to a public officer contravened Sections 96 (a) of the criminal law of Lagos State, 2011.

According to information before the court, “Edem had on August 7, with an intent to cause arrest and prosecution of the management staff of Starsonic/Sacvin Group Nigeria Limited gave information he knew to be false to the EFCC and Mrs Patience Kalu, a public officer, that the company is involved in a massive pension fraud, tax evasion and other fraudulent activities running over N700m”.

Edem pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The Vacation Judge, Justice Oshodi, thereafter remanded the defendant in prison custody.

Justice Oshodi ordered the case file remitted back to the registry for re-assignment.

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