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EFCC arraigns don, two others over alleged N52.4m fraud



The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned Prof. Fatima B.J. Sawa, Umar Modibbo and Abdurrashid Abubakar, on a four-count charge bordering on conspiracy, concealment and fraud.

They were arraigned before Justice N.I. Afolabi of the Federal High Court, Gombe.

This was contained in a statement yesterday in Abuja by the acting spokesperson, Tony Orilade.

Sawa was alleged to have, as Provost, Federal College of Horticulture, Dadinkowa, Gombe, connived with Modibbo and Abubakar, the college’s Expenditure Officer and Bursar, to illegally transfer N52, 444,097.06 from the college’s bank account to personal use.

They were alleged to have used the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) payment platform without justification.

Orilade disclosed that investigations carried out by the commission revealed that the said money was transferred to a company, Freeman ICT Hub, on a single day in several installments, for services not rendered. They pleaded “not guilty” when the charges were read to them.

Following their pleas, prosecuting counsel, Ndeh Godspower, urged the court for a date for trial and requested that the defendants be remanded in prison custody.

While adjourning the case to January 17, 2019 for “definite hearing,” Justice Afolabi granted all the defendants bail in the sum of N60 million and two sureties each in like sum.

In a related development, Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu has warned politicians against using public funds for elections.

He gave the warning yesterday in Abuja, while presenting a paper at a one-day retreat for 36 state governors and key election stakeholders.

The theme of the retreat, organised by Centre for Values In Leadership, (CVL), was: “Institutionalising Transparency, Accountability, and Anti-Corruption Issues in The Electoral Process in Nigeria.

Magu, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Olanipekun Olukoyede, promised that henceforth, the commission would monitor donations to political parties and the identities of such donors.

Senior Vice President of CVL, Rasheed Adegbenro, said the forum, which began in Lagos, was meant to sensitise the electorate on the coming elections.
Also, the EFCC yesterday handed over to First Bank Plc., 116 cars and 20 landed properties in Edo, Rivers and Lagos states recovered from one Michael Obasuyi Osasogie.

Orilade, in a statement in Abuja said, trouble began for Osasogie after he wrote a petition to the commission against E-tranzact in March 2018.

He added that Osasogie’s business interests were investigated, following receipt of a counter-petition by e-tranzact against Osasogie and one of his companies, SmartMicro.

Obasuyi, in his statement to the Commission, confessed to have committed the crime, stating that he created fraudulent and imaginary monies through the aid of Fundgate Financial Application from the company.

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