Ex-Bauchi accountant-general jailed for diverting N108m education funds


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Gombe Zonal office on Wednesday secured the conviction of Yusuf Ibrahim Gokaru, a former Bauchi State Accountant General, before Justice Muazu Abubakar of the Bauchi State High Court on charges bordering on obtaining money by false pretence, concealment of the source and origin of the money.

Gokaru’s troubles began in August 2019 when the Bauchi State Government, in a petition to the Commission, alleged that the convict abused his office as Accountant General and obtained the sum of N108,363,200 million for personal use.

The money was diverted from the World Bank assistance to Bauchi State Government under the State Education Programme Investment Project (SEPIP).

The defendant transferred the money from Bauchi State Consolidated Naira Account domiciled at Polaris Bank to a Unity Bank account.

The offence, the EFCC said, 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.

In the course of investigation, N31 million was recovered from the defendant. However, upon arraignment on March 13, 2020, he pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the charges preferred against him, setting the stage for trial.

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The prosecution counsel, A.Y Muntaka, in the course of the trial presented witnesses and tendered documents which were admitted in evidence.

When the case came up on Wednesday, the defendant changed his plea and pleaded “guilty” as charged.

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

Justice Abubakar also ordered the convict to pay the sum of Seventy-seven Million Naira (N77m) as restitution to Bauchi State Government within one year.

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