The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has secured the conviction of a top government official in Kebbi State.

The Accountant-General of the state, Mohammed Arzika Dakingari has been fund guilty in a fraud case worth N1.6billion.

The Court of Appeal upturned the judgment of the State High Court which discharged and acquitted Dakingari on charges of conspiracy and obtaining by false pretence.

Dakingari and another suspect were earlier discharged and acquitted by the State High Court.

Dakingari was charged alongside Musa Yusuf, Managing Director, Beal Construction Nigeria Limited; a company owned by him (Dakingari).

It was used to award various contracts in his interest contrary to civil service regulation which forbids serving officers from owning businesses.

Findings by the EFCC at the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, showed that Mohammed Bashir Mohammed, Anwal Sadat and Nasir Mohammed, all sons of the Accountant-General, were directors of the company (Beal Construction), while two of his brothers, Abduallahi Mohammed and Habibu Mohammed also serve as directors.

The construction company operates two accounts at EcoBank and Unity Bank with Dakingari and Yusuf as signatories.

However, Dakingari was discovered to operate with two signatures, one in his official capacity as Accountant-General of the state and the other as owner of Beal Construction Company Limited.

Upon the conclusion of investigation, the EFCC filed a 20-count charge of conspiracy, obtaining by false pretence and abuse of office against Dakingari and Yusuf.

The trial court in its determination of the case convicted and sentenced Yusuf to six months imprisonment while it discharged and acquitted Dakingari.

Dissatisfied, the EFCC approached the Court of Appeal asking it to set aside the judgment of the lower court and convict Dakingari as charged.

The appellate court in its judgment, allowed the appeal by the EFCC, convicted and sentenced Dakingari to 70 years imprisonment each on 10 of the counts preferred against him by the anti-graft agency.

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