EFCC Arraigns 2 Aides of Former Gov Of Bauchi over N258 Million Fraud

March 18, 2020

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The Gombe Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission, EFCC, on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, arraigned the ex- Accountant
General of the Bauchi State government, Yusuf Ibrahim Gokaru and the State
Director of Finance, Ibrahim Muhammed Lele. They were arraigned before Justice
A.H Suleiman of the Bauchi State High Court on 42 count-charges, bordering on
obtaining by false pretence, conspiracy, money laundering and concealment of
the source and origin of the money.

The arrest and arraignment of the defendants was sequel to a
petition from Bauchi State Government, dated August 26, 2019.

Gokaru and Lele were alleged to have connived and used their
official positions as Accountant General of Bauchi State government and
Director Finance of the same office to obtain the sum of N258, 363, 200, (Two
Hundred and Fifty Eight Million, Three Hundred and Sixty Three Thousand, Two
Hundred Naira) only for their personal use.

The money was from the World Bank as an assistance to Bauchi
State Government under the programme of State Education Programme Investment
Project (SEPIP), instead of using the fund for the project, the defendants
allegedly concealed the source of the money by transferring from the Bauchi
State Consolidated Naira Account, domiciled at Polaris Bank to a Unity Bank,
suspected to be their personal accounts

Operatives of the Commission in the course of investigation,
recovered more than N80 million, prompting the EFCC to charged the defendants
to Court.

One of the charge reads: “That you, Yusuf Ibrahim Gokaru
and  Ibrahim Muhammed Lele on or about
the 16th day of August, 2018 at Bauchi, Bauchi State within the jurisdiction of
this Honourable Court, with intent to defraud, did obtain money to the tune of
Two Hundred Million Naira 
(N200,000,000.00) properties of Bauchi State Government with assistance
from World Bank by falsely representing that the said sum was to be used for
State Education programme Investment project 
(SEPIP) which Pretence you knew to be false and thereby committed an
offence contrary to Section 1 (1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud
Related Offences Act, 2006 and Punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act”.

The defendants pleaded not guilty to all the 42 count-charge
preferred against them by the EFCC.

The prosecution counsel, A .Y Muntaka, applied for a trial
date to enable him assemble his witnesses and necessary documents to be
tendered as exhibits.

But the defence counsel, Babangida Muhammad, filed for bail
application of the defendants.

Justice Suleiman, while adjourning the case till April 28,
2020, for trial, granted the defendants bail in the sum of N10 million each and
two sureties in like sum. He said the sureties must be of grade level 14 and
must own landed property within GRA in Bauchi and to deposit same at the
Registry of the court.

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