Sunday, April 18, 2021

Ex-Bauchi Accountant General jailed for diverting N108m to personal account


Rayyan Alhassan
Rayyan Alhassan is a 30-year-old graduate of Journalism and Mass Communication at Sikkim Manipal University, Ghana. He is the acting Managing Editor at the Daily Nigerian newspaper, a position he has held for the past 3 years. He can be reached via [email protected], or, or @Rayyan88 on Twitter.
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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Gombe Zonal office has secured the conviction of Yusuf Ibrahim Gokaru, a former Bauchi State Accountant General on charges bordering on obtaining money by false pretence, concealment of the source and origin of the money.

He was convicted by Justice Muazu Abubakar of the Bauchi State High Court.

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His troubles began in August 2019 when the Bauchi State Government, in a petition to the commission, alleged that the convict abused his office as Accountant General and obtained the sum of N108,363,200 for personal use.

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The money was diverted from the World Bank assistance to Bauchi State Government under the State Education Programme Investment Project, SEPIP.

The defendant transferred the money from Bauchi State Consolidated Naira Account domiciled at Polaris Bank to a Unity Bank account.

The offence is contrary to Section 1 (1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.

In the course of investigation, N31m was recovered from the defendant. However upon arraignment on March 13, 2020 he pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against him, setting the stage for trial.

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The prosecution counsel, A.Y Muntaka in the course of trial presented witnesses and tendered documents which were admitted in evidence.

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When the case come up today, April 7, the defendant changed his plea and pleaded “guilty” as charged.

Consequently, the judge pronounced him guilty and sentenced him to one year imprisonment with an option of fine.

Justice Abubakar also ordered the convict to pay the sum of N77m as restitution to Bauchi State Government within one year.

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