A former vice chancellor and bursar of the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, in Kaduna State, has been charged with over N1 billion in fraud by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
According to a statement from the EFCC, Ibrahim Garba, a former vice-chancellor, and Ibrahim Shehu Usman, a bursar, were both charged on Wednesday before the Federal High Court in Kaduna.
The defendants were accused of nine counts of money laundering including the diverting of various quantities of money from various university accounts, according to a statement from the EFCC signed by its spokesperson Wilson Uwujaren.
It claimed that the funds were intended for the popular Kongo Conference Hotel in Zaria, but were instead diverted.
They are accused of taking money out of the university’s accounts at various points between 2013 and 2016.
However, upon their arraignment before Judge R.M. Aikawa, the defendants rejected the accusations and pleaded not guilty.
Jamil Musa, the prosecution attorney, requested that the court return the defendants to the Kaduna Correctional Center based on their pleas and set a date for the trial to begin.
Both the first defendant’s defense attorney, M.S. Aatu (SAN), and the second defendant’s defense attorney, Bello I. Jahun, pleaded with the court to grant bail to their clients.
The defendants were granted bail by Judge Aikawa for five million naira each with a single surety in the same amount who had to be at least Grade Level 15 in the civil service. The defendants must also leave their foreign passports in the court’s register. Also, until the court orders otherwise, they must submit a report to the EFCC on the first Monday of every month.
The matter has been postponed to a hearing on June 20-21, 2023.