The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Gombe Zonal office has arraigned four directors of the Gombe State Internal Revenue Service before the Federal High Court sitting in Gombe over an alleged N47 million fraud.
The directors: Aishatu Yakubu, executive director, admin and finance; Mohammed Musa Mohammed, executive director, tax operation; Wesley Kumusa Audu, executive director, tax and audit, and Mijinyawa Sani Labaran, executive director, non tax operations, were docked before Justice Nehizena Afolabi on a 25-count charge of conspiracy, obtaining by false pretence and money laundering.
The EFCC accused the defendants of allegedly conspired among themselves to pay several allowances and benefits which amounted to N47m without approval.
The anti-graft agency also claimed that they awarded fictitious contracts for which payments were released and diverted for their personal use.
The Commission alleged that the payments were made from the national plate number account of the Board which is meant for remittance into the state internally generated revenue (IGR) account.
Count one of the charge reads, “That you, AISHATU YAKUBU, MOHAMMED MUSA MOHAMMED, WESLEY KUMUSA AUDU and MIJINYAWA SANI LABARAN sometime in December, 2018 or thereabout at Gombe, Gombe State within the Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did agree among yourselves to commit an offence to wit: convert monies properties of Gombe State Board of Internal Revenue Service and thereby committed an offence, contrary to, and Punishable under the provision of Section 18 (a) & (c) of the Money Laundering ( Prohibition ) Act,LFN 2011 ( as amended) and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act”.
All the defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The prosecution counsel, Yakubu Muntaka applied to the court for a date to commence the trial.
But the defence counsel Habu Abdu however sought the leave of the Court to move the bail application of on behalf of his clients which was granted by the courr.
Justice Afolabi granted the defendants bail in the sum of N15 million each with two sureties in like sum.
The judge held that one of the surety must be a blood relative of the defendant and the other, a civil servant of level 14 or above.
She further directed that the sureties must also be resident within Gombe Metropolitan City and have landed properties with Certificate of Occupancy.
The judge then adjourned the to February 4, 2020 for commencement of trial.