The EFCC says the accused forged documents and awarded fraudulent contracts
The Deputy Speaker of the Kaduna State House of Assembly, Mato Dogara, and six former officials of Lere Local Government Council were on Monday charged before Federal High Court, Kaduna for alleged conspiracy and fraud involving N30 million.
The other accused persons included Kabiru Tahir, former interim committee chairman of the council; Ahmed Yahya, former Director of Finance; Billy Graham, former Director of Works; Yushau Aboki, ex-Director of Personnel; Hannatu Iliya, Head of Health; and Eric Alhassan, former Acting Chairman.
The accused persons were arrested and charged to court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, following a petition against them by un-named persons from the local government area.
Counsel to the EFCC, Sa’ad Hannafi, told the court that the accused persons are standing trial on a six-count charge of conspiracy and fraud.
The EFCC counsel, Mr. Hannafi, said the accused persons had between March 2011 and February 2012 conspired and attempted to defraud the council of over N30 million.
The accused “obtained money by false pretence and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 8(a) of the Advance Free Fraud and Other Related Offences Act 2006, and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act,” the charge said.
Mr. Hannafi also told the court that Mr. Tahir, the first accused person and former Interim Chairman of the council, the Deputy Speaker and three others had conspired “with the intent to defraud the state, obtained via fraudulent award of contract for the renovation of Government Lodge Saminaka, the sum of N17 million, the property of the Kaduna State Government, which you knew to be false”.
He said Mr. Yahaya, the 3rd accused person and former director of personnel, Mr. Iliya, the Head of Health, Mr. Alhassan, the former acting chairman and Graham, the 4th accused had obtained via Voucher No: 4165 the sum of N8.01 million for the supply of hospital equipment which they knew was false.
The counsel said the accused persons forged a receipt titled Austino Pharmaceutical Ltd dated May 15, 2011, to effect the payment of N8.01 million which were never supplied.
He also said that Mr. Dogara, the second accused person and the former interim chairman of the council was accused of obtaining the sum of N5.37 million as 10 per cent kick back from one Umaru Dangi.
The transaction was conducted between June 2011 and May 2012 through a fraudulent contract for the resurfacing and redressing of Malali road, the court heard.
Counsel to the accused persons, Chris Ekhasemomhe’s application for bail was refused by the presiding Judge, Marcellous Awokenlehin, after the charges were read to them.
Mr. Awokenlehin directed that the accused persons be remanded in prison custody until the next adjourned date.
He fixed January 24, 28 and 29 for further hearing of the case.
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