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Former-ABU VC, bursar docked for N1bn fraud

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Former ABU VC, Prof. Ibrahim Garba and former bursar and Ibrahim Shehu Usman arraigned for fraud

Former Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Professor Ibrahim Garba, and former bursar, Ibrahim Shehu Usman were arraigned on March 29 before Justice R. M. Aikawa of the Federal High Court sitting Kaduna, Kaduna State, on a nine-count charge bordering on fraud and money laundering to the tune of over N1billion by the Kaduna Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

The duo accused of fraud were alleged to have diverted the monies from different accounts of the institution meant for the renovation of the popular Kongo Conference Hotel, Zaria.

One of the counts reads, “that you, Prof. Ibrahim Garba and Ibrahim Shehu Usman, sometimes in December, 2013, whilst the Vice Chancellor and Bursar of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria respectively, in Kaduna within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court conspired amongst yourselves to use the aggregate sum of N998, 000,000.00(Nine Hundred and Ninety Eight Million Naira), which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of your unlawful activity to wit: Criminal Breach of Trust and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(a), 15 (2) (d) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act”.

Another count reads, “that you, Prof. Ibrahim Garba and Ibrahim Shehu Usman, between 11th day of January, 2016 and 29th day of June, 2016 whilst the Vice Chancellor and Bursar of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria respectively, in Kaduna within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court concealed the aggregate sum of N119,923,730.00(One Hundred and Nineteen Million, Nine Hundred and Twenty Three Thousand, Seven Hundred and Thirty Naira) in USIG NIGERIA LIMITED’s account No. 1402548014 domiciled in First City Monument Bank Plc, which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of your unlawful activity to wit: Criminal Breach of Trust and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(2)(a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act”.

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They pleaded ‘not guilty’ when the fraud charges were read to them.

Based on their pleas, the prosecuting counsel, Jamil Musa urged the court to remand the defendants at the Kaduna Correctional Centre and fix a date for the commencement of trial.

The defence counsel, M.S Aatu (SAN) for the 1st defendant and Bello. I. Jahun for the 2nd defendant urged the court to admit their clients to bail.

Justice Aikawa granted bail to the defendants in the sum of five million naira each with one surety each in like sum who must not be below Grade Level 15 in the civil service. The defendants must also deposit their international passports with the registry of the court. They are to further report to EFCC on the first Monday of every month until the court directs otherwise.

The case has adjourned till June 20-21, 2023 for hearing.

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