Prof. Fatima B. J. Sawa, the Provost Federal College of Horticulture Dadin-kowa, Umar Modibbo and Abdurrasheed Abubakar have one thing in common.

Apart from being staff of the Federal College of Horticulture Dadin-kowa, Gombe State, they are all on trial for conspiracy, concealment of illicit origin of funds and fraud. 

The trio were arraigned before a Federal High Court sitting in the state by the Gombe Zonal Office of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). 

The EFCC says the suspects were paraded before the court for allegedly using their capacities as Provost, Bursar and Expenditure Officer to conspire among themselves and transfer the sum of N52, 444, 097. 06 from the institution’s account domiciled in one of the new generation banks by using GIFMIS payment platform without justification.

According to the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Gombe Zonal Office Malam Bello Bajoga, investigations revealed that the said amount was transferred to a company named; Freeman ICT Hub, and that the company does not deserve the payment because there was no service rendered to the institution by the company.

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In a testimony before the court the prosecution counsel, Ndeh Godspower, appealed to the court that the charge be read to the defendants for the purpose of taking their plea which was granted by the court.

According to the image maker of the anti-graft agency, count three of the charge read: “That you Fatima B. J. Sawa, Umar Modibbo and Abdurrasheed Abubakar, sometime in December 2017 at Gombe, Gombe State within the jurisdiction of this honorable court in your capacities as provost, expenditure officer and bursar respectively of the Federal College of Horticulture, Dadin-kowa 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 Six Kobo) under false Pretence thereby committing 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”.

The defendants pleaded not guilty to all the charges leveled against them

In view of that, the prosecution counsel applied for a date of trial and requested that the defendants be remanded in prison custody, but all the defense counsel applied for bail.

While adjourning the case to 17th January 2019, Justice Afolabi granted all the defendants bail in the sum of N60 million.

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