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Corruption: Court convicts NNPC staff for N1.8m fraud in Kaduna

Justice Darius Khobo of the Kaduna State High Court, Kaduna on Thursday, October 15, 2020, convicted and sentenced one Nuhu Aliyu for fraud.

Aliyu, a staff of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC)/Nigerian Pipeline and Storage Company Limited (NPSC) and Chairman, PENGASSAN PPMC Kaduna Depot Branch, defrauded the NNPC to the tune of N1,834,900.00 (One Million, Eight Hundred and Thirty-four Thousand, Nine Hundred Naira) in October 2017.

He was prosecuted by the Kaduna Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on amended one-count charge of criminal breach of trust and abuse of office to which he pleaded guilty.

Following his guilty plea, prosecution counsel Y.J.Matiyak tendered 11 documents that were admitted as exhibits and urged the court to convict and sentence him accordingly.

He was convicted and sentenced by the judge to pay the sum of N100,000 (One Hundred Thousand Naira) to the federal government or risk a 10 years jail term.

Justice Khobo further pronounced that the EFCC should recover the proceeds of the crime from the convict and transfer it in favour of the PPMC.

The convict pulled off the fraud by summoning an emergency meeting of a few NUPENG executives, and deliberately left out some others with the sole aim of having the liberty to process some payments to himself.

Though the meeting did not hold, he went ahead to facilitate the payments to himself by splitting the payments into two. One to himself, to the tune of N934,900 (Nine Hundred and Thirty-four Thousand, Nine Hundred Naira) and the other to Muktar Aliyu, NUPENG’s secretary in the state, to the tune of N900,000.00 (Nine Hundred Thousand Naira).

Muktar Aliyu, however, routed back the sum to Nuhu Aliyu, thereby making the chairman the sole beneficiary of an illicit payment of N1,834,900.00 (One Million Eight Hundred and Thirty-four Thousand, Nine Hundred Naira).

It was further discovered that to facilitate the payments, the convict forged the signatures of some other NUPENG officials with the help of one Ibrahim Yakubu Shekarau.

In a related development, the Kaduna Zonal Office of the Commission on Tuesday, October 13,2020, arraigned one Christopher Nduka before Justice Khobo on a two-count charge, bordering on issuance of dud cheque to the tune of N397,500 (Three Hundred and Ninety-seven Thousand, Five Hundred Naira).

The defendant was remanded in custody following the failure of his counsel, Simon Nnadi to formally file a bail application for him.

However, at the resumed hearing on the matter on Thursday, October 15, 2020, the defence counsel informed the court that he has filled his client’s bail application and urged the court to grant him bail on medical ground to enable him prepare for his trial, while prosecution counsel, Y. J. Matiyak opposed the application on the ground that the defendant is a habitual issuer of dud cheques, and at such, would likely go back to the crime if released on bail.

Justice Khobo admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N4 million with one surety in like sum, who must be resident in Kaduna State, and must have a landed property within the jurisdiction of the court.

The surety must also submit the Certificate of Occupancy (CofO) of his land to the court, verified by the EFCC.

The case was adjourned till November 16, 2020 for continuation of trial.

Trouble started for Christopher when he allegedly issued two cheques to one Santos Abu Attah in the sums of N265, 000 (Two Hundred and Sixty-five Thousand Naira) and N132, 500 (One Hundred and Thirty-two Thousand, Five hundred naira) respectively, for the purchase of 150 bags of cement, which were dishonoured at the bank for insufficient credit in the accounts.

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