Deputy Speaker of the Kaduna State House of Assembly, Dr. Mato Dogara, and six former officials of Lere Local Government, Kaduna State, were on Monday arraigned before Federal High Court, Kaduna for alleged conspiracy and fraud amounting to N30m.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission arraigned the accused before Justice Marcellous Awokulehin, alleging that the accused defrauded the state government of N30m through fraudulent award of contracts between May 2011 and March 2012.
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Those arraigned along with Dogara were Kabiru Tahir, former interim committee Chairman of the council; Ahmed Yahya, former Director of Finance, and Billy Graham, former Director of Works.
Others were Yushau Aboki, ex-Director of Personnel; Hannatu Iliya, Head of Health, and Eric Alhassan, former acting Chairman.
All the accused pleaded not guilty to the counts in the charge tagged PHC/KD/3C/2013.
Awokulehin ordered that they be remanded in the custody of the EFCC pending the court’s hearing of their bail application scheduled for January 29.
The EFCC had charged the accused following a petition against them by unnamed persons from the local government.
Counsel for the EFCC, Sa’ad Hannafi, told the court that the accused persons were charged on six counts of conspiracy and fraud.
According to him, the accused’s alleged offences violate Sections 1(2)(c) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act 2004, and 1(1)a of the Advance Free Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006.
The charge stated that the accused, “with intent to defraud, obtained via fraudulent award of contract for the renovation of Government Lodge Saminaka the sum of N17m, the property of Kaduna State Government which you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 1(1) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences, Act, 2006 and punishable under section 1(3) of the same Act”.
The judge fixed January 24, 28 and 29 for further hearing in the case.
Meanwhile, the EFCC’s Acting Head, Media and Publicity, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, stated on Monday that the anti-graft agency had arrested aide to Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija, Chief Executive Officer, The Rose of Sharon, a Non-Governmental Organisation, Mr Vincent Ayewah and six others for alleged N3m fraud.
They were George Ehizibolo, Onwuwa David, Okonkwo Chikadibia, Emmanuel Ayewah, Florence Ayewah and Chinyere Awanah.