- A former member of the sixth Senate, Umaru Tafida has been arraigned over an alleged fraud
- The EFCC maintained that the ex-senator misappropriate the sum of the N419m
- Tafida, however, pleaded not guilty to the count preferred against him in court
The Sokoto zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has arraigned a former senator, Umaru Tafida Argungu, before Justice Mohammed Mohammed of the state high court on one count charge of criminal misappropriation of public funds.
Legit.ng reports that the EFCC in a statement posted on its Facebook page on Monday, March 1, said that the ex-senator misappropriated the sum of N419, 744, 612.
The anti-graft agency said that Argungu, who represented Kebbi North in the sixth Senate was alleged to have diverted the said sum which was paid by the Sokoto state government as a 40% equity stake in Hijrah Investment Nigeria Limited, owners of Hijrah Textile Ltd.
It was gathered that the state government had entered into an agreement with the former senator to buy a 40% stake in his company Hijrah Investment Nigeria Limited in order to create jobs and boost the economy of the state.
The EFCC said that the investigations, however, revealed several withdrawals and transfers from the said account to individuals not remotely connected to the objectives of turning around the company.
It also stated that a visit to the company premises by investigators showed a company in a severe state of abandonment and dilapidation.
Argungu, however, pleaded not guilty, adding that based on his plea, the prosecution counsel, S.H. Sa’ad asked the court for a date to commence trial.
The case has been adjourned till March 18, for the commencement of trial.
Justice Mohammed granted the defendant bail in the sum of N50 million and two sureties in like sum.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that the coalition of civil society organisations appealed to the chairman of the EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa, to start an investigation into the alleged misappropriation of N22.5billion by the former governor of Zamfara state, Abdulaziz Yari.
It was reported that the coalition which comprises 16 frontline civil society organisations at a press conference held in Lagos on Sunday, February 28, alleged that a monumental fraud was perpetrated by the former governor between 2011 and 2019.
Wale Akinola is a passionate journalist and researcher. He works as a senior political/current affairs editor at Legit.ng. He holds both B.A and Master’s degree in Communications and Language Arts from the University of Ibadan. He also holds a Diploma Certificate in Peace Journalism. He has over 15 years of work experience in both print and online media. He derives joy in keeping the public abreast of current happenings locally and internationally through his writings.