The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission has accused a former Kebbi State Commissioner for Finance, Alhaji Mohammed Tunga; and a former Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Garba Kamba, of diverting N664m.
The ICPC said in a statement by its spokesperson, Mrs. Rasheedat Okoduwa, that N315m out of the money was meant for the training of imams and mallams who were meant to spread the message of peace to their followers ahead of the 2015 presidential election.
The commission added that the remaining N349m was meant for the procurement of generators for every polling unit ahead of the 2015 general elections.
Investigations by operatives of the anti-graft agency, however, showed that the money was diverted.
The statement read in part, “The duo who held office during the tenure of the immediate past governor of Kebbi State, Alhaji Saidu Dakingari, were said to have diverted the sum of N349,475,000 meant for the provision of generators and ‘other logistics’ for all polling units in Kebbi State for the 2015 general elections.
“The defendants were also accused of using their offices as SSG and Commissioner for Finance to siphon N315,000,000, which sum was approved and released to organise sensitisation and enlightenment programmes for imams and mallams against religious incitement of supporters for the 2015 general elections in the 21 local government areas of Kebbi State.”
The ICPC, therefore, arraigned the suspects before Justice Umar Abubakar of Kebbi State High Court 3 sitting in Birnin Kebbi for alleged misapplication of the sum of N664, 000, 000.
Kamba and Tunga were arraigned on four charges bordering on criminal conspiracy, theft, conferring corrupt advantage on themselves and using their positions for gratification.
In a Charge No: KB/HC/27C/2017, the defendants were accused of committing offences contrary to and punishable under Sections 19 and 26 (1) (c) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.
If found guilty, the suspects face five years imprisonment without options of fine.
When the charges were read out to them, the two accused persons separately entered “not-guilty” pleas.
Counsel for the accused persons, Messrs. Ahmad Fingilla and Lagalo Lagalo, applied for bail for their clients through motions supported by affidavits.
Bail was granted to each of them in the sum of N10m and one surety in like sum who must be resident and possess property worth N10m within the jurisdiction of the court.
The case was adjourned till October 26, 2017 for the commencement of trial.
Meanwhile, the ICPC has also arraigned a former official of the Federal Road Safety Commission, Mr. Anska Asawa, before Justice Folashade Ojo of the Federal High Court, Maitama, sitting in Abuja for allegedly diverting the salaries of his colleagues for his own personal use.
Asawa was arraigned by the commission on two counts of conferring corrupt advantage on himself, thereby committing an offence that contravenes Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.
Justice Ojo granted the accuse person bail in the sum of N500,000 and asked him to produce two sureties resident in Abuja.
The trial was adjourned till November 6, 2017 for commencement of hearing.