By Babatunde Opalana
A former Secretary to the Kebbi State Government and a former Commissioner of Finance, Alhaji Garba Rabiu Kamba and Alhaji Mohammed Bello Tunga have been docked before Justice Umar Abubakar of Kebbi State High Court 3.
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), arraigned the suspects before the court sitting in Birnin Kebbi for alleged misapplication of the sum of N664, 000, 000 Kebbi State Government funds.
The duo, who held office during the tenure of the immediate past Governor of Kebbi State, Alhaji Saidu Nasamu Dakingari, were said to have diverted the sum of N349,475,000 meant for the provision of power generators and “other logistics” for all polling units in Kebbi State for the 2015 general elections.
The defendants were also accused of using their offices as SSG and Commissioner of Finance to siphon N315,000,000 which sum was approved and released to organize sensitization and enlightenment programmes for Imams and Mallams against religious incitement of supporters for the 2015 general elections in the 21 Local Government Areas of Kebbi state.
However, ICPC’s intelligence-led investigation revealed that the said amounts were shared among their political cronies as no power generators were purchased nor was any Imam or Mallam among the beneficiaries of the sensitization money.
Kamba and Tunga were therefore arraigned on a 4-count charge of offenses bordering on criminal conspiracy, theft, conferring corrupt advantage on themselves and using their positions for gratification.
In a Charge No: KB/HC/27C/2017, the defendants were accused of committing offenses contrary to and punishable under sections 19 and 26 (1) (c) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000. If found guilty, they shall, on conviction, be liable to a term of 5 years imprisonment without an option of fine.
When the charges were read out to them, the two accused persons separately entered “not-guilty” pleas.
Counsel to the accused persons, Messrs. Ahmad Fingilla and Lagalo Dan Lagalo respectively, applied for bail for their clients through motions supported by affidavits.
Bail was granted to each of them in the sum of N10m and one surety in like sum who must be resident and possess property worth N10m within the jurisdiction of the court.
The case was adjourned to 26th October, 2017 for the commencement of the hearing.