Court sends Auditor General to jail for N19.9m fraud

The Auditor General for Local Government, Yobe state, Alhaji Idris Yahaya, has been sentenced to five years in prison for criminal misappropriation to the tune of N19.9 million.

A press statement by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Head, Media & Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, Monday in Abuja, said.

Alhaji Yahaya was convicted by Justice Muhammad Lawu Lawan of the Yobe State High Court on a one-count-charge of criminal misappropriation to the tune of N19, 9 million preferred against him by the Maiduguri Zonal Command of the Commission.

He said the convict received funds from the Office of the Auditor General for Local Government and Emirate Affairs, Yobe state, for the purchase of an official vehicle, a 2015 Toyota Corolla, and diverted part of the money to his personal use.

The spokesperson said one count charge read: ”That you, Yahaya Lawal Idris, being the Auditor General for Local Government, Yobe state, between May 20 and 21, 2017 at Damaturu, Yobe state, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, received the sum of N19,900,000 via your personal account number 1001480930 with account name Alhaji Yahaya Idris domiciled in UBA from the Local Government Audit Account Number 5030030060 domiciled in Fidelity Bank Plc for the purchase of a brand new Toyota Corolla 2015 Model, did dishonestly misappropriated the gross sum of N10,100,000 only.”

Uwujaren said the convict, who was first arraigned on Wednesday, November 9, 2022, had pleaded not guilty to the charges, setting the stage for his trial.

“In the course of the trial, Counsel for the EFCC, Mukhtar Ali Ahmed, called four witnesses and tendered documents which were admitted in evidence,” he added.

According to the spokesperson, “Delivering judgment today, Justice Lawan held that the prosecution has proved the case against the defendant and convicted him as charged. He consequently sentenced him to 5 years imprisonment with an option of fine.

“The Judge further directed the convict to pay the sum of N10, 100,000 restitution to Yobe state government through the EFCC or serve additional two years in prison.