N19M Fraud: EFCC Re-Arraigns 2 Muslim Clerics

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Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Friday re-arraigned two leaders of the Muslim Council in Taraba State for diverting the sum of N19 million of the N21 million released to the council by the state government.

It will be recalled that the Taraba State government had in September 2010 approved N42 million for the Christian Association of Nigeria and the Muslim Council for purposes of the 50th Independence celebration.CAN and the Muslim Council were to share N21m each, but only N11m was declared by the leaders of the Muslim Council.

Alhaji Inuwa Usman and Alhaji Chindo Bose, chairman and secretary of the council and special adviser to the governor on religious matters, Rev. Simon Jatutu, were accused of diverting the money in September 2010 for personal use.

Based on a petition sent to it, the EFCC investigated the allegations and subsequently arraigned the accused before Justice M.S Shu’aibu of the Federal High Court, Yola for conspiracy, fraud and money laundering.

They were, however, granted bail by Justice Shu’aibu in the sum of N1.5million each and a surety in the like sum on grounds that the court’s vacation was too long to keep them in custody.

Not satisfied with the verdict, the case was transferred from the Yola Federal High Court to the newly created Federal High Court in Jalingo under which jurisdiction the said offences were committed.

When the hearing commenced, counsel to the EFCC, Mr. Al Qasim called Mr. Japhet Wubon, a former permanent secretary in the office of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) as witness and he was cross-examined by the defense and prosecution counsels.

The case was however adjourned till February 21 and 22, 2013 to enable the counsel to the accused persons, Mr. Ukaegbu Onyi, to have access to the statement of the witnesses.

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