Thursday, March 19, 2020

EFCC arraigns ex-Bauchi accountant for alleged N258m scam

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Gombe Zonal Office, has arraigned a former Accountant General of Bauchi State, Yusuf Gokaru, before the Bauchi State High Court on an alleged N258m fraud.

Gokaru was arraigned on Wednesday before Justice A. H. Suleiman alongside one Ibrahim Lele, an official of the state Treasury Department.

The EFCC charged the defendants with 40 counts bordering on obtaining money under false pretences and also concealing property belonging to the state government.

The prosecutors said the offences were contrary to Section 7 Sub 1 (a) (ii) of the Advanced Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act 2006 and punishable under Section 7 Sub 2 of the same Act.

After the charges were read to the defendants, Justice Suleiman asked if they understood the charges and they said they did. However, they pleaded not guilty.

Counsel for the defendants, Babangida Mohammed, requested bail for the accused on health grounds.

Justice Suleiman obliged by granted the duo bail.

Lawyer for the anti-corruption body, Ahmed Muntaka, said since the defendants pleaded not guilty the case should be adjourned to enable them to bring their witnesses.

The judge then adjourned the case till April 28 for the commencement of trial.

Muntaka, who spoke with journalists shortly after the court sitting, said they filed the case on March 4.

He said, “The World Bank, as part of the assistance it offers certain states gave the Bauchi State Government a huge amount of money and out of the money, N258m, as contained in the charges, was diverted by the persons before the court in various trenches.

“They raised some mandates and kept withdrawing those mandates, and at the same time trying to remove the money from where it was lodged into a different account, thereby concealing the source of the money in order to perpetrate their own fraud.”