The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has filed an amended N5billion fraud charge against former Gombe State Governor Alhaji Danjuma Goje at the Federal High Court in Gombe.
He is charged along with Alhaji Aliyu U. El-Nafaty, S.M. Dokoro Gombe (aka S.M Dokoro) and Alhaji Sabo Mohammed Tumu.
The defendants are yet to be arraigned.
The charge, numbered FHC/GM/33C/2011, was filed by EFCC counsel Mr Wahab Shittu.
EFCC said Goje, between September and November 2010, allegedly forged a document titled: Resolution authorising His Excellency the Executive Governor of Gombe State to acquire loan of N5,000,000,000.00 only, with Ref. No: GM/HA/RES/VOL. 1/17.
The commission said the resolution was purportedly signed by Clerk of the Gombe State House of Assembly Shehu Mohammed Atik.
It was claimed that the resolution arose from the House of Assembly’s proceedings, Shittu said.
The prosecuting counsel alleged all the information was false.
He said the intent was for the forged document to be used or acted upon as genuine by Access Bank Plc.
EFCC said the bank acted on the resolution in the belief that it was genuine in approving a N5billion facility to the state for infrastructural projects.
EFCC said Goje, between November2, 2010 and February 24, 2011, transferred the N5billion “allocated strictly for infrastructural projects to other purposes unconnected with infrastructural projects”.
The commission said the money was allegedly transferred to several individuals and corporate bank accounts as reflected in Gombe State Government Account No. 0003273131 and 0003273227 with Access Bank.
Shittu said they were acts of illegality, aimed at concealing the illicit origin of the money with a view to evading the illegal consequences of Goje’s action.
The offence, the lawyer said, contravenes Section 14 (1)(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition Act) 2004 and is punishable under Section 14.
EFCC said the former governor transferred the money “without appropriation”, the sum “being facility obtained from Access Bank Plc for infrastructural projects, being an illegal act, concealing the illicit origin with a view to evading the illegal consequences of your action thereof”.
In the 20-count charge, Goje was accused of transferring N21,874,260.62 to his cousin Tumu “for the supply of food items to Gombe State Government House”.
EFCC said he “reasonably ought to know that the contract for the said food supplies awarded to the said Alhaji Sabo Mohammed Tumu was not the outcome of any competitive bidding process in accordance with the Due Process Guidelines contained in the due process circular reference No. GO/CS/S/MEM/VII/358, dated 25th February, 2008, adopted by your administration”.
Tumu was accused of laundering the sum in the name of supplying food items to Gombe State Government House when he knew or reasonably ought to know that the contract was not the outcome of any competitive bidding process.
Dokoro was accused of transferring, without reasonable excuse, 50 units of Toyota Hiace Buses owned by Gombe State Government valued at N242, 500,000.00 to government functionaries rather than by public auction.
EFCC said it was at a “gross undervalue of N22million as a reward with intent to confer undue advantage on the said public officials from bidding at a public auction”.
Goje and El-Nafaty were accused of mismanaging N1.6billion Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) and State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) funds earmarked for award of contract to Real Integrated and Hospitality Ltd for the supply of 1.4 million dictionaries to primary and junior secondary schools.
The amended charge, Shittu said, has been filed and served on the accused persons.
According to him, plea is likely to be taken on the next adjourned date, which is April 10 and 11.