EFCC Arraigns Prof Fatima, Others for N52.4m Fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arraigned a professor, Fatima B.J. Sawa, Umar Modibbo and Abdurrashid Abubakar before Justice N.I. Afolabi of the Federal High Court, Gombe on a four-count charge bordering on conspiracy, concealment and fraud.

Sawa, is alleged to have as Provost, Federal College of Horticulture, Dadinkowa, Gombe, connived with Modiboo and Abubakar, the college’s Expenditure Officer and Bursar, to illegally transfer N52,444,097.06 (Fifty Two Million, Four Hundred and Forty Four Thousand and Ninety Seven naira, Six Kobo) from the college’s bank account to personal use. They are alleged to have used the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System, GIFMIS payment platform without justification.

Investigations carried out by the Commission revealed that the said money was transferred to a company, Freeman ICT Hub on a single day in several instalments, for services not rendered.

One of the counts reads: “That you Fatima B.J. Sawa, Umar Modibbo and Abdurrasheed Abubakar sometimes in December, 2017 at Gombe, Gombe State within the Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court in your capacities as Provost, Expenditure Officer and Bursar of the Federal College of Horticulture, Dadinkowa, respectively with intent to defraud, did conspire amongst yourselves to commit an offence, to wit; attempt to obtain monies, the sum of N52,444,097.06 (Fifty Two Million Four Hundred and Forty Four Thousand Ninety Seven Naira and Six Kobo) under false Pretence thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 8 (a) and Section 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006 respectively.”

They pleaded “not guilty” when the charges were read to them.

In view of their pleas, prosecuting counsel, Ndeh Godspower, urged the court for a date for trial and requested that the defendants be remanded in prison custody.

While adjourning the case to January 17, 2019 for “definite hearing”, Justice Afolabi granted all the defendants bail in the sum of N60 million and two sureties each in like sum who must be resident in Gombe with Certificate of Occupancy. One of the sureties must be a relation of the defendants.

Tony Orilade
Ag. Head, Media & Publicity
28th November, 2018