EFCC arraigns LG chairman, three others in Court over alleged N792m fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Makurdi zonal office has arraigned chairman of Otukpo local government area of Benue State, George Ali and three other top council officials in the State High Court over an alleged fraud of N792,025,996.90.

George Ali was arraigned alongside the Director-General Service and Administration, Mohammed Audu, Treasurer John Ali and Cashier, Morgan Ejoga all of Otukpo local government area.

The commission said Ali and the other three top council government officials were arraigned on a five-count charge bordering on conspiracy criminal breach of trust and abuse of office.

According to the charges, “that you George Ali, the chairman, Audu Mohammed, Director General Service and Administration, John Ali, Treasurer and Morgan Ejoga cashier, all of Otukpo local government area between 2016 and 2018 being entrusted with the sum of N1.6 billion within the jurisdiction of the court and did conspire amongst yourselves to commit criminal breach trust by dishonestly misappropriated the sum of N792,025,996.90 belonging to Otukpo local government and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 96 of the penal code law 124 (Revised Edition) laws of Benue State 2004 and punishable under section 13 of the same law.”

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The suspects, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The EFCC counsel, Chia Yakubu asked the court for a date to commence trial and also sought an order to remand the defendants in correctional centre.

But the counsel to the defendants, J J Usman prayed to grant the defendants bail on liberal terms and assured court that they will always be in court to stand their trial.

The presiding judge, M.A. Ikpambese granted the defendants bail in the sum of N2m each and adjourned the case till June 23, 2020, for the commencement of trial.

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