The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Gombe Zonal office has arraigned four directors of the Gombe State Internal Revenue Service, Aishatu Yakubu, executive director, admin and finance; Mohammed Musa Mohammed, executive director, tax operation; Wesley Kumusa Audu, executive director, tax and audit, and Mijinyawa Sani Labaran, executive director, non tax operations, before Justice Nehizena I. Afolabi of the Federal High Court, Gombe on a 25-count charge bordering on conspiracy, obtaining by false pretence and money laundering.
The defendants allegedly conspired among themselves to pay several allowances and benefits which amounted to N47m without approval. They also awarded fictitious contracts for which payments were released and diverted for their personal use. The payments were made from the national plate number account of the Board which is meant for remittance into the state internally generated revenue,IGR account.
Count one of the charge reads, “That you, AISHATU YAKUBU, MOHAMMED MUSA MOHAMMED, WESLEY KUMUSA AUDU and MIJINYAWA SANI LABARAN sometime in December, 2018 or thereabout at Gombe, Gombe State within the Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did agree among yourselves to commit an offence to wit: convert monies properties of Gombe State Board of Internal Revenue Service and thereby committed an offence, contrary to, and Punishable under the provision of Section 18 (a) & (c) of the Money Laundering ( Prohibition ) Act,LFN 2011 ( as amended) and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act”.
All the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges. The prosecution counsel, A.Y Muntaka applied to the court for a date to commence the trial. The defence counsel Habu Abdu however sought the leave of the Court to move the bail application of his clients which was granted by the Judge.
Justice Afolabi granted the defendants bail in the sum of N15m each and two sureties in like sum. One of the surety must be a blood relative of the defendant and the other, a civil servant of level 14 or above. The sureties must also be resident within Gombe Metropolitan City and have landed properties with Certificate of Occupancy.
The case was adjourned till February 4, 2020 for trial.