Monday, February 15, 2021

How prison’s comptroller collected N2.8m from applicants, witness tells court


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, prosecution witness revealed how Abubakar Mohammed Sani, a Deputy Comptroller in the Nigerian Correctional Service, NCoS, obtained money from unsuspecting job seekers.

Recall that Mr Sani was arraigned on December 9, 2020 before Justice Hadiza Sabi’u Shagari of the Federal High Court Katsina for allegedly using his position as an officer of the Katsina Command of the Nigerian Prisons Service (as it then was) and obtained a total sum of N2,850,000 from some persons on the pretext of helping them secure employment into the Service.

The EFCC Head of Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, in a statement on Thursday, said the witness, Ashafa Abubakar Aliyu in his evidence disclosed that sometime in 2012 the defendant who was his colleague in the then Nigerian Prison Service contacted him and asked him to find candidates who are looking for employment.

He further revealed that the defendant being the Works Officer at the Headquarters of the NCoS, it was easy to believe that he had the capacity to secure job offers into the Service.

“The defendant told me that there was vacancy in the then Nigerian Prison Service and because we did basic course together in Kaduna and he used to lead us in prayers, I agreed to provide candidates

 “He convinced me to pay for the job for my relations, Umar Himma, Surajo Ibrahim,  Abdullahi Gambo and others whom I could not remember their names.”

The witness also revealed that he called the defendant and put him on speaker phone to the hearing of the applicants. And the defendant told them that, each of them must pay N300, 000 (Three Hundred Thousand Naira Only) if they wanted the job.

The applicants, according to the witness, raised monies totaling over N2, 000,000 (Two Million Naira) and he (the witness) paid same into the account of the defendant.  Since then, the defendant neither provided the jobs nor refund the money he collected.

After concluding his examination -in –chief, the  defense counsel Dr Salisu Malami applied for adjournment to enable him prepare for cross examination of the witness.

Justice Shagari adjourned the matter till February 3rd and 4th for continuation of trial.

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