By Chizoba Ogbeche
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has yesterday arraigned a principal accountant with the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETfund), Auwal Ibrahim, and two others before Justice Sa’ad Muhammad of the Gombe state High Court on a 17-count charge bordering on conspiracy, contract scam, abuse of office and diversion of public funds.
Those arraigned with the TETfund official are director of works, Federal College of Education, Gombe, Wali Muktar Usman and Architect Yunusa Yakubu, his company Lubell Nigeria Limited and another company, Archfirst Nigeria limited.
A statement by EFCC’s Head of Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, said the accused persons, allegedly abused their positions by awarding inflated TETFund contracts to companies in which they had interest or which belong to their cronies, and receiving gratification from contractors.
Ibrahim, the 1st accused allegedly received various sums of money as gratification from Yakubu for contract awarded to his company Lubell Nigeria Limited in Gombe State University.
Usman, who served as director of works Federal College of Education Gombe, is also the sole signatory and promoter of Archfirst Nigeria Limited, a clear violation of public service regulation which forbids ownership of private businesses by serving public officers.
A number of transactions by the accused persons were also traced to the accounts of Murtala Salisu, the acting director works of Gombe state University in different banks.
They pleaded not guilty to all the charges read to them and in view of this, the prosecution counsel Abubakar Aliyu applied for a date for trial and Justice Mohammed the adjourned the case to June 20, 2017.