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EFCC arraigns Kwara bursary board ex-boss, others for alleged fraud

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• Inspects abandoned projects in Kebbi promises to make an arrest
• Mompha operated unregistered company, witness tells court

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday arraigned the immediate past Chairperson of the Kwara State Scholarship Board, Hajia Fatimah Yusuf and two others over their alleged involvement in bursary fraud.

Yusuf was arraigned alongside Fatai Lamidi and Stephen Ajewole before the court presided over by Justice Sikiru Oyinloye.

All the defendants pleaded not guilty to the seven-count charge levelled against them by the anti-graft body.

During their arraignment yesterday, the prosecuting counsel, Blessing Akinsola, said: “We have a seven-count charge dated December 21, 2019. We pray this court to accept the charge and allow it to be read to all the defendants.”

But counsel to the defendants, Isau Saka, Y.O Ahmed, however, did not oppose the application but urged the judge to grant them bail pending the hearing and determination of the case.

Justice Oyinloye, therefore, granted the defendants bail in the sum of N10 million with two sureties in like sum and ordered them to submit their travel documents to the court.

He adjourned hearing in the matter till February 26, 2020, for the commencement of trial.

In another development, the EFCC has inspected abandoned projects in Kebbi State with a view of bringing contractors handling the projects to book.

The North West Head of EFCC, Abdullahi Lawan, who disclosed this while addressing newsmen yesterday in Birnin Kebbi, said he was in the state with his team to inspect abandoned projects in order to launch an investigation on the reason for their abandonment by contractors.

According to him, the inspection tour was planned to be carried out in the three states of Sokoto, Zamfara, and Kebbi, which the zonal office oversees, saying that the wisdom for the investigation was to check corruption largely perpetrated through construction projects.

Also, a fourth prosecution witness (PW4), Enu Matthew Obun, in the trial of Ismaila Mustapha, known as Mompha, yesterday told a Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos, presided over by Justice Abdullahi M. Liman, that the suspected Internet fraudster ran an illegal bureau de change with his company, Ismalob Global Investments Limited.

Led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, the witness, a compliance officer with the Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering (SCUML), told the court that on November 15, 2019, the commission requested from SCUML the regulation and compliance status of the company and that “upon inspection, it was discovered that Ismalob is not registered with the SCUML.

“From the database search in the office, there is no information on Ismalob Global Investment Limited and all the transactions that were done in the company’s account between December 14, 2015, and January 25, 2018, are not on SCUML’s record.”

The EFCC’s letter of request and the response from SCUML were admitted in evidence by the court.

Justice Liman adjourned the matter till February 26, 2020, for the continuation of trial.


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