Kogi High Court uncovers N4.8m fraud, fake tellers in state judiciary
Kogi State High Court has uncovered N4.8million fraud allegedly carried out by some judiciary workers in the state.
This was disclosed in a report submitted to the Acting Chief Judge, Hon. Justice Josiah Majebi, by the Chairman Revenue Task Force, Sunday Paul.
The task force was inaugurated by Hon. Justice Majebi to principally unravel possible fraudulent activities in the generation of revenue by the Kogi State High court.
Chairman of the Revenue Taskforce, Sunday Paul, while presenting his findings to the Acting Chief Judge said he had routinely embarked on checking the account inflows of the court, in conjunction with the court’s deposit money bank into which payments and fines due the court were meant to be paid.
According to him, in the course of doing that, he stumbled on a syndicated mechanism, where payments to the court by legal chambers, their practitioners and other individuals were manipulated with customised bank tellers and bank stamps to defraud the court.
“In the report dated November 9, 2022, and captioned: “Fraudulent Practice”, we gathered, amongst other findings, that in the monthly reconciliation of accounts, the sum of N2.4m said to have been paid into the court’s account was not paid despite evidence of payment showing same.
“On October 28, 2022, the sum of two million, four hundred thousand naira (N2,400,000) was paid as judgment debt revenue and the bank teller was presented as evidence of payment. I went to the bank on November 7, 2022, to collect bank statements for my monthly reconciliation for the month of October 2022. Amazingly, the said N2.4 million was not in the bank statement,” the report indicated.”
“Out of curiosity, we consulted the court’s relevant department before revisiting the bank where he further confirmed that there were other similar unremitted transactions.
“In my curiosity to know what happened to the said money, I immediately informed the Process Unit where the money is supposed to come from. I photocopied the teller and I took it to the bank for verification. My verification revealed that the money was not paid into the revenue account.
“In addition, the bank teller presented as evidence of payment to the Process Unit, but the Stamp on the teller and the signature on it were all fake. The fake signature also tallies with those of previous years as an indication of how long the fraud has been perpetrated,” he stated.
Responding, the Acting Chief Judge, Hon Justice Josiah Majebi said the matter was already before the police for a thorough investigation.
He demanded credibility and honesty from the management and staff of the court, saying that the institution must be preserved for both present and future generations.
“We are all stakeholders in this project called judiciary. Let us be vigilant and honest. Let us not try to destroy it or be assisting others to destroy it. People were here before us who maintained it and we must leave it devoid of rots for incoming ones too. Let us eradicate all forms of fraudulent practices for the sake of this and the next generations,” he requested.