Professor Sawa, 2 others charged with fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arraigned Professor Fatima B.J. Sawa, provost of Federal College of Horticulture, Gombe for conspiracy, concealment and fraud.

She was docked today along with , Umar Modibbo and Abdurrashid Abubakar over the illegal transfer of N52.4million from the college’s account into private accounts.

The trio were docked before Justice N.I. Afolabi of the Federal High Court, Gombe.

According to the EFCC, the accused were alleged to have used the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System, GIFMIS payment platform without justification.

Investigations carried out by the Commission revealed that the said money was transferred to a company, Freeman ICT Hub on a single day in several instalments, for services not rendered.

One of the counts reads: “That you Fatima B.J. Sawa, Umar Modibbo and Abdulrasheed Abubakar sometimes in December, 2017 at Gombe, Gombe State within the Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court in your capacities as Provost, Expenditure Officer and Bursar of the Federal College of Horticulture, Dadinkowa, respectively 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 and Six Kobo) under false Pretence thereby committed 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.”

They pleaded “not guilty” when the charge was read to them.

In view of their pleas, prosecuting counsel, Ndeh Godspower, urged the court for a date for trial and requested that the defendants be remanded in prison custody.

Justice Afolabi granted all the defendants bail in the sum of N60 million and two sureties each in like sum who must be resident in Gombe with Certificate of Occupancy. One of the sureties must be a relation of the defendants.

The case was adjourned till January 17, 2019 for “definite hearing”.

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