The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Gombe office, on Tuesday, arraigned the Chairman, Gombe State Board of Internal Revenue and three other principal officers before Justice M. G Umar, of Federal High Court 1, Gombe state.
The defendants: Atiku Mu’azu Bayum, Mohammed Adi, Ibrahim Abubakar and Abubakar Usman, were arraigned on a 30-count charge bordering on forgery, uttering and obtaining money by false pretence.
In their capacities as Chairman, Chief Store Officer, Chief Accountant and Director of the Gombe State Board of Internal Revenue, conspired and forged documents in order to obtain and did obtained the sum of N25, 060, 000.00, belonging to Gombe State Government.
Investigations revealed that the documents forged included several receipts attached to payment vouchers for which payments were released and converted to their personal used in the cause of their duties.
Count four of the charge reads: “That you Atiku Mu’azu Bayum, Mohammed Adi, Ibrahim Abubakar and Abubakar Usman sometimes between January 2014 and July 2015 at Gombe, Gombe State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court in your capacities as Chairman, Chief Store Officer, Chief Accountant and Director of the Gombe Board of Internal Revenue with intent to defraud did Obtain the sum of Twenty Five Million, Sixty Thousand Naira (N25, 060, 000.00) from the coffers of the Gombe State Government by using several payment vouchers knowing to be false whereas you converted same to your personal use and thereby committed an offence contrary to and Punishable under Section 1 (1)(a) and 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Related Offences Act, 2006 respectively”.
However, they all pleaded not guilty to all the charges read to them.
The prosecution counsel, O. Israel, applied for a date of trial.
Defence counsel informed the court that he filled application for bail dated 2nd July, 2018 which was duly served on the prosecution. He was allowed to move the application.
Justice Umar, in his ruling on the bail application, granted the defendants bail in the sum of N2 millon each and two sureties each in like sum.
One of the sureties must be a civil servant not below the rank of Director serving and residing within the jurisdiction of the court which must be verified by the prosecution.
The matter was adjourned to 11th October, 2018 for hearing.