A Gombe State High Court, sitting in Gombe, Capital of the state, Thursday, convicted Atiku Mua’azu Bayum, Mohammed Adi, Ibrahim Abubakar and Abubakar Usman over conspiracy and theft.
The trio were prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and eventually convicted before Justice Beatrice Iliya.
It was gathered that the convicts conspired to have, as Chairman, Chief Store Officer, Chief Accountant and Director of the Gombe State Board of Internal Revenue, respectively and stole the sum of N25,060,000 belonging to Gombe State Government.
EFCC spokesman, Tony Orilade disclosed this in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja.
The Counts charge read: “That you, Atiku Mu’azu Bayum, Mohammed Adi, Ibrahim Abubakar and Abubakar Usman sometimes between January and July 2015 at Gombe, Gombe State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent did dishonestly commit theft to wit: fraudulently convert the sum of N25,060,000 (Twenty Five Million Sixty Thousand Naira) property of Gombe State Government and thereby committed an offence contrary to and Punishable under Section 286 and 287 of the Penal Code Law, Laws of Northern Nigeria.”
Further, Orilade affirmed that the convicts pleaded guilty to the charges.
He also said the Prosecution counsel, O. Israel, urged the court to convict them accordingly.
But the Defence counsel, L.A. Haruna on his part reportedly pleaded on behalf of his clients for the court to temper justice with mercy as the convicts were first-time offenders.
Also, Haruna, it was learnt, told the court that the convicts didn’t waste the precious time of the court as they pleaded guilty on the day of their arraignment and that they had made some restitution and intended to fully restitute the whole amount.
However, in his ruling, Justice Biatrice declared them guilty and convicted them.
He also added that the convicts should pay a fine of N100,000 each following the allocutus by the defence counsel and,
ordered that they should restitute the remaining amount to Gombe State Government within six months.dp