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Court jails 2 civil servants over N1bn scam

An Abuja High Court in Jabi on Monday sentenced Mohammed Dogonyaro Audu (also known as Abdullahi Dogonyaro Mohammed) and Yahaya Ayodeji to seven years imprisonment each for abuse of office.

In his judgment against the two civil servants , Justice Yusuf Halilu held that both men were guilty on 10- count charge of criminal conspiracy and complicity in the award of contract to the tune of N1billion.

But the sentence are to run concurrently, implying that both Audu and Ayodeji are to spend seven years behind bar. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had arraigned the convicts while the bubble burst when the two former officials from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, OAGF, engaged in fraudulent contract award.

The duo allegedly abused their offices by floating companies through which they cornered contracts emanating from the Economic Reforms and Governance Project, (ERGP), and Government Integrated Financial Management Information System, (GIFMIS), domiciled in the OAGF.

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, lawyer to the EFCC, Cosmas Ugwu, presented three witnesses and tendered relevant documents 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. The judge said, “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”.

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

Andrew Orolua, Abuja.

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