Alleged 289m fraud: EFCC arraigns Katsina deputy accountant-general

THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned the Deputy Accountant-General of Katsina State, Sani Lawal BK, before the state High Court on a five count charge of conspiracy and criminal breach of trust.

The Commission arraigned him alongside Saadi Maiwada, the former Sub-Treasurer in the Office of the Accountant-General of Katsina state.

This was disclosed in a statement released by EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, on Thursday, June 8. 


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The defendants, in their capacity’s as the then sub-treasurer and deputy-sub treasurer in the Office of the Accountant General of Katsina State, allegedly conspired and converted the sum of N289 million from the state’s coffers.

According to the statement, investigation revealed that the defendants laundered the stolen funds through the account of Integrated Gas Services Limited, a company where the first defendant (Maiwada) is a director. 

The sum of N49 million was also allegedly transferred from the account of Integrated Gas Services Limited to the personal account of the second defendant (Lawal BK) who is now the Deputy Accountant-General of the state.

One of the counts read, “That you, Saadu Miawada and Sani Lawal BK sometime in 2017 at Katsina within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court while being entrusted with dominion over money belonging to Katsina State Government dishonestly converted to your own use the sum of N120,790,942.86 (One Hundred and Twenty Million, Seven Hundred Ninety Thousand, Nine Hundred and Forty-two Naira, Eighty-six Kobo) which was transferred from Katsina State Government Sub -Treasury Expenditure Account number 1012424374 domiciled in United Bank for Africa (UBA) PLC to Integrated Gas Services Company Limited’s Fidelity Bank account no 4010693761 (CO1717299) and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 297 of the Penal Code Law of Katsina State 2021.”

Both defendants, however, pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to them.

In view of their pleas, counsel for the prosecution, Aisha Tahar Habib, prayed the court for a trial date.

The counsel for the defendants, J B Israel, subsequently made an oral application for bail on behalf of his clients which the prosecution objected.




     

     

    The prosecution noted that a formal application is needed as the court is a court of record.

    The court subsequently admitted the accused persons to bail in the sum of N5 million each and ordered that each defendant to provide a surety with a landed property within Katsina.

    The court also asked the defendants to present letters of introduction from a traditional ruler.

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    The case was adjourned till July 24 for trial.

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    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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