Nigeria: EFCC arraigns ex-Sec, Adamawa christians pilgrims welfare board, 3 others over alleged N132m fraud
London, Jan. 8, 2019 (AltAfrica)-A former Executive Secretary of Adamawa Christians Welfare Board, Lucious Mayo, Elisie Yaduwa, Elisha Yahaya and Rhoda Samson were on Monday arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Gombe zonal office before Justice Nathan Musa of an Adamawa State High Court, on a nine-count charge bordering on “conspiracy, obtaining money by false pretence, diversion, inflation of contract price, forgery and refusal to make full disclosure of assets”
Mayo, as Executive Secretary of the state’s Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, was alleged to have connived with Yaduwa, the Director of Finance and Account; Yahaya, Accountant, and Samson, cashier, to divert to personal use, about N132 million out of N347, 848,220 (Three Hundred and Forty Seven Million, Eight Hundred and Eighty Four Thousand Two Hundred and Twenty Naira) only released in 2016 by the Adamawa State government to cater for the Christians pilgrimage exercise from the state.
They are also alleged to have collected and diverted about N2.54 million from four “self-sponsored” pilgrims, who paid the money into the Board’s account.
Confirming the arrangement, the commission spokesman, Tony Orilade said, further investigations also revealed that in 2016, Mayo sold registration forms to 1,569 intending pilgrims at N10, 000 each, amounting to N15, 690, 000 million. (Fifteen Million, Six Hundred and Ninety Thousand Naira) only.
This was in spite of the fact that many pilgrims were sponsored by the Adamawa State Government. The money was also neither remitted to the board’s account, nor the account of the state’s revenue board
Orilade revealed further that the Head of Medicals received the sum of N3.5m (Three Million, Five Hundred Thousand Naira) only for drugs procurement, but was expressly instructed to return N1.5m (One Million Five Hundred Thousand Naira) only to the Director of Finance, without treasury receipt.
A fictitious payment voucher of N3.5m was later raised by the accountant to cover up the fraudulent diversion.
Another N26.34 million was obtained by the first defendant from the intending pilgrims under the false pretence that the money was to be used for upgrading their Basic Travelling Allowance, BTA from minimum seat of $500 to maximum seat of $750 each, but instead, diverted to his personal use.
Investigation also shows that the Board issued a contract for the supply of wrappers (uniforms) at N2,500 to each pilgrim but, Mayo inflated the price by N1,000 each, generating N1 million and diverted same to his personal use.
One of the counts against the accused reads: “That you, DR. LUCIOUS JINGA MAYO in your capacity as Executive Secretary, Christian Pilgrim Welfare Board, Adamawa State, sometimes between August and December 2016, or thereabout at Yola, Adamawa State within the Jurisdiction Of this Honourable Court, with intent to defraud, did obtain monies in the sum of Eighty Four Million, Nine Hundred and Forty Eight Thousand, Six Hundred Naira (N84,948,600) from the Government of Adamawa State under the false pretence that, the money be used for the expenses of Local Government sponsored Christians Pilgrims for the 2016 Pilgrimage which sum you diverted to your own use, thereby committed an offence contrary to the provision of Section 1 (1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, LFN and Punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act”.
They pleaded “not guilty” to the charges when they were read to them.
Prosecuting counsel, A.Y. Muntaka, thereafter asked for a date for commencement of trial, while the defence counsel for the defendants also moved their bail applications.
Justice Musa in his ruling on the applications granted bail to the first defendant in the sum of N100 million and one surety in like sum, with landed property within the jurisdiction of the Court
The second, third and fourth defendants were granted bail in the sum of N50 million and one surety each in like sum with condition that the surety must be a director in the Civil Service with landed property.
The case was adjourned to February 6 and 7, 2019 for “definite hearing