The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arraigned one Moses Adoga before state High Court sitting in Lafia, Nasarawa State on a one-count charge for dishonestly converting the sum of N19,765,200 being a Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFUND, grant to study for a PhD.
In a statement on Monday, Tony Orilade, the EFCC’s acting Head of Media & Publicity, said the offence is punishable under Section 312 of Penal Code Laws.
According to the statement, the suspect was arraigned before Justice Simon Aboki.
The count charge reads: “That you Moses Peter Adoga sometime in 2011 in Keffi within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court being entrusted with the sum of N19,765,200 from Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) paid into your United Bank for Africa account through Nasarawa State University Diamond Bank Account for the purpose of Academic staff training and development at Bangor University in the United Kingdom; did dishonestly convert same to your own use and thereby committed a criminal breach of trust contrary to section 311 and punishable under section 312 of Penal Code Laws”.
He pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the one count charge.
In view of his plea, prosecution counsel, Mary Onoja prayed for a date for the commencement of trial. She also prayed that the defendant be remanded in prison custody pending the hearing of his bail application.
However, the defense counsel, S. K. Sheltu orally applied for bail for his client and Justice Simon O. Aboki granted the defendant bail in the sum of N2, 000, 000 with two sureties in like sum.
The defendant is to surrender his international passport to the registrar of the Court.
The Judge adjourned the matter till July 10, 2019 for commencement of trial.
According to Mr Orilade, troubles started for Mr Adoga, a lecturer with the Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Natural and Applied Science, Nasarawa State University, Keffi, when a petitioner alleged that the suspect obtained a TETFUND grant for the sum of N19,756,200 through the university in 2010 to study PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology at Bangor University, United Kingdom.
He obtained this money under disguise of overseas PhD training and never presented any evidence of going or graduating as he claimed and yet he kept giving excuses.
Analysis of his statement of account showed that the suspect diverted the funds for business and sundry purposes other than the reason why the funds were given.
Eight years after the grant of the money to the suspect, he could not produce PhD certificate from any University.