EFCC Arraigns Bauchi Court Official For N217m Loan Scam

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, arraigned the duo of Usman B Abdurahman, a.k.a Kilishin Dass, and Hafizu Dauda of the Bauchi State Judiciary before Justice M. A. Sambo of the Bauchi State High Court on Six count charges bordering on conspiracy, obtaining of goods under false pretence and presenting false documents.
The suspects who are the Secretary and Treasurer respectively for the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees, (AUPCTRE) Judiciary Branch, Bauchi State were arrested by EFCC operatives following a petition by one Aliyu B Usman, former Chief Registrar, High Court of Justice Bauchi State and now a Honourable Justice of the Bauchi State High Court.
The petitioner alleged that sometimes in 2009, the said association entered into contract agreement with De-Damak Nigeria Limited to supply 3,000 unit of motorcycles at the sum of N217,000,000 for distribution to it members, based on management guarantee and irrevocable standing payment order (ISPO) by the High Court of Bauchi State, the company supplied the motorcycles which was acknowledged by the first accused on his capacity as secretary of the union.
But due to the inability of the union to fulfill its obligation of remittance, the supplier obtained a garnishee order granted by Ibadan High Court of Justice against the salary account of Bauchi State as guarantor in which the sum of N187, 250,000 was garnished.
This necessitated the Bauchi State Government to constitute an investigation committee which revealed that the union submitted only few names as beneficiaries of the loan. This made the Bauchi State Judiciary wrote a petition against the union executive.
Investigation by the EFCC revealed that out of the motorcycles, the union executive connived and diverted large units and sold same to M. D. Tofa Investment Limited at Kano. It was also discovered that even the few names submitted by the union as beneficiaries of the loan for remittance some are fictitious; some were retired and dead while majority could not be found in the central data base of the Bauchi State civil Service.
EFCC also discovered in a search conducted at the residence of the first accuse, the official seal of the Chief Accountant Bauchi State and Judiciary letter headed papers were recovered and upon inquiry it was discovered to be forged.
In an attempt to commit a similar act, the duo also opened a current account in one of the new generation banks in the name of Association of Senior Civil Servant of Nigeria judiciary unit to obtain loan despite the fact that they are neither members nor executive of the union.
The accuse persons pleaded not guilty to all the charges when read to them.
The prosecution counsel, Abubakar Aliyu, urged the court to fix a date for trial in line with the practice direction of the Bauchi State High Court and also to remand the accuse in prison centenary.
The defense counsel, Y. A. Garkuwa, informed the court that he filed a bail application dated March 1, 2017 and served same to prosecution.
But in his ruling, Justice Sambo over-ruled the defense objection on the view that the prosecution is entitled to five clear days to respond. He however adjoined the case to Friday March 3, for hearing a motion on notice of the bail application and also fixed March 20, 17 for the substantive matter of the case. He ordered the accused to be remanded in prison custody.

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Hamilton Nwosa

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