Ex-senator arraigned in Sokoto over N419m scam
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Sokoto Zonal Office, has arraigned Senator Umaru Argungu before Justice Mohammed Mohammed of the Sokoto State High Court for allegedly misappropriating N419,744,612.30 public fund.
Argungu, who represented Kebbi North in the 6th Senate, allegedly diverted the said sum paid by the Sokoto government as 40 per cent equity stake in Hijrah Investment Nigeria Limited, owners of Hijrah Textile Limited.
Sokoto had entered into an agreement with him to buy 40 per cent stake in his company, Hijrah Investment Nigeria Limited, to create jobs and boost the state’s economy.
However, investigation revealed several withdrawals and transfers from the said account to individuals not connected with the objectives of the company.
A visit to the company’s promises by investigators showed an abandoned company in a state of dilapidation.
When the charge was read to the former senator yesterday, he pleaded ‘not guilty’, which made the prosecution to ask the court for a date to commence trial, while the defence counsel, Ibrahim Abdullahi, moved a motion for the bail of his client.
Justice Mohammed granted the defendant bail in the sum of N50 million and two sureties in like sum.
According to the judge, the sureties must reside and have property within the jurisdiction of the court. He further ruled that the defendant’s international passport be deposited with the court.
The case was adjourned till March 18, 2021 for commencement of trial.