The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Gombe Zonal office, has secured the conviction of Mr Atiku Bayum, Mohammed Adi, Ibrahim Abubakar and Abubakar Usman on two counts bordering on conspiracy and theft before Justice Beatrice Iliya of High Court 3, Gombe.
The convicts in their capacities as chairman, chief store officer, chief accountant and director of the Gombe State Board of Internal Revenue were accused of conspiring and stealing the sum of N25,060,000.00, belonging to the Gombe State Government.
Count one of the charge read, that you, Atiku Mu’azu Bayum, Mohammed Adi, Ibrahim Abubakar and Abubakar Usman sometime between January 2014 and July 2015 at Gombe, Gombe State within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did agree among yourselves to commit an illegal act to wit criminal conspiracy and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 96 and 97 of the Penal Code Law, Laws of Northern Nigeria.
Count two read, that you, Atiku Mu’azu Bayum, Mohammed Adi, Ibrahim Abubakar and Abubakar Usman sometime between January and July 2015 at Gombe, Gombe State within the jurisdiction of this honourable court with intent did dishonestly commit theft to wit: fraudulently convert the sum of twenty five million, sixty thousand naira (N25, 060, 000.00) property of Gombe State Government and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 286 and 287 of the Penal Code Law, Laws of Northern Nigeria. They all pleaded guilty to both charges. The prosecution counsel, O. Israel, urged the court to convict them accordingly. The defence counsel, L. A Haruna, on behalf of his clients, urged the judge to temper justice with mercy as the convicts were first-time offenders and didn’t waste the time of the court and pleaded guilty on the day of their arraignment and that they had made some restitution and intended to fully restitute the whole amount.
In her judgment, Justice Iliya pronounced them guilty and convicted them, asking them to pay a fine of N100,000.00 each. However, the judge ordered the convicts to refund the remaining amount to the Gombe State Government within six months.
Source (Punch, Friday, May 17th, 2019.)