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Court jails ex-Bauchi accountant-general over N108m fraud

Court jails ex-Bauchi accountant-general over N108m fraud
April 07
19:44 2021

A Bauchi high court has sentenced Yusuf Ibrahim Gokaru, a former accountant-general of the state, to one-year imprisonment for diverting funds belonging to the government.

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had, on March 13, 2020, arraigned Gokaru on charges bordering on “obtaining money by false pretence, concealment of the source, and origin of the money”.

According to the EFCC, the Bauchi state government had petitioned the commission in August 2019, alleging that the convict abused his office as accountant-general by obtaining N108,363,200 from the state’s consolidated naira account domiciled at Polaris Bank, which he transferred to a Unity Bank account.

The money was said to have been diverted from the World Bank’s assistance to the Bauchi state government under the State Education Programme Investment Project (SEPIP).

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The offence is contrary to Section 1 (1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.

A statement by the commission claimed that N31 million was recovered from the defendant during investigations.

Although the defendant had entered a plea of “not guilty” upon his arraignment, at the resumed trial on Wednesday, he pleaded guilty to the charges.

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Consequently, Muazu Abubakar, the presiding judge, pronounced Gokaru guilty and sentenced him to one-year imprisonment with an option of fine.

The judge also ordered the convict to pay N77 million as restitution to the Bauchi state government within one year.

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