Two For­mer Di­rec­tors Bag 105 Years Prison Sen­tence for Pay­roll Con­tract Fraud

THISDAY - - NEWS -

A High Court in Abuja on Mon­day sen­tenced two for­mer top of­fi­cials in the Of­fice of the Ac­coun­tant Gen­eral of the Fed­er­a­tion to 105 years im­pris­on­ment for con­tract fraud and abuse of of­fice

The two men- Mo­hammed Do­gon­yaro Audu (also known as Ab­dul­lahi Do­gon­yaro Mo­hammed) and Ya­haya Ay­o­deji, were ar­rested and tried in court by the EFCC.

The break­down of the jail sen­tences shows that Audu, who was con­victed of the 10-count charge, will spend 70 years in prison while his co-trav­eller, Ay­o­deji, who was found cul­pa­ble on five counts, will serve 35 years in jail.

The court presided over by Jus­tice Yusuf Halilu, found them guilty of a 10-count charge bor­der­ing on crim­i­nal con­spir­acy and com­plic­ity in the award of some con­tracts to the tune of N1­bil­lion to them­selves.

The two for­mer di­rec­tors ac­cord­ing to the pros­e­cu­tion, abused their of­fices by float­ing pri­vate com­pa­nies which they used in cor­ner­ing the N1 bil­lion con­tracts em­a­nat­ing from the Eco­nomic Re­forms and Gov­er­nance Project, ERGP, and Gov­ern­ment In­te­grated Fi­nan­cial Man­age­ment In­for­ma­tion Sys­tem, GIFMIS, domi­ciled in the Of­fice of the Ac­coun­tant Gen­eral of the Fed­er­a­tion.

Both Audu and Ay­o­deji had pleaded “not guilty” to the charges when they were ar­raigned on May 26, 2015, thereby set­ting the stage for their trial.

In the course of the trial, coun­sel to the EFCC, Cos­mas Ugwu, pre­sented three wit­nesses and ten­dered rel­e­vant doc­u­ments against the sus­pects, which were all ad­mit­ted in ev­i­dence. De­liv­er­ing his judg­ment, Jus­tice Halilu said the pros­e­cu­tion had proved its case be­yond rea­son­able doubt adding that, as pub­lic ser­vants, the con­victs abused their of­fices.

“I am not ex­pected to re­move or add any­thing be­fore me. They (Audu and Ay­o­deji) took ad­van­tage of their of­fices and did what they did. For me, I do what my con­science and the law di­rects me to do,” the judge ruled.

He there­after found Audu guilty on counts 1 to 10 and sen­tenced him to seven years on each count with­out an op­tion of a fine. Ay­o­deji was found guilty on counts 1, 3,4, 5 and 9 and also sen­tenced to seven years on each count. The sen­tences are to run con­cur­rently.

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