APC LOGOBy Uthman Siraja

A Minna Chief Magistrate Court NO.1 presided over by Chief Magistrate Nasir Mu’azu, has ordered that the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Niger State, Engr. Mohammed Jibrin Imam and the Treasurer of the party, Dr. Shafiyi Abdulsalam be remanded in Minna Federal Correctional facility

They were arraigned by the men of the Anti Fraud Squad of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department ( SCIID), of the Niger Police Command, on three count charges which bordered on criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust and criminal misappropriation.

According to the Police prosecutor Ahmed Sa’idu ASP, the three count charges were punishable under Sections 97,312 and 309 of the penal code.

Following a petition written to the Niger State Commissioner of Police, Adamu Usman, by the state financial secretary of the party, Idris Nma Mohammed and the state internal auditor of the Party, Adamu Baba Aliyu; the CP then forwarded same to the SCIID for investigation and they both reported that; “you Engr Mohammed Jibrin Imam, chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Niger State, Dr Shafiyi Abdulsalam, Treasurer of All Progressives Congress (APC), Niger State, and you Barrister Mohammed Liman, Secretary All Progressives Congress (APC), Niger State, conspired among yourselves and withdrew and misappropriated the All Progressives Congress, Niger State, party funds domiciled in (a) Zenith Bank, current account number 1015852453 and withdrew N105,092662:92k (b) Zenith Bank, current account number 1014334918 and withdrew N189,921,42:11k, (c) Zenith Bank, current account number 1013883141 and withdrew N318,723,713:52k from 1st June, 2014 to 1st June 2020, “and that you also conspired and withdrew and misappropriated All Progressives Congress, Niger State Party funds domiciled in (d) Heritage Bank, Current account number 5000192413 and withdrew and misappropriated N173,134,005:98k, from 3rd March,2016 to 4th June, 2020 all totalling to N651,686,974:53k. And also Misappropriated other funds of the Party that were made willfully and you all dishonesty converted the said monies to your own personal use.

“Police detectives swung  into action and arrested you (1) Engr. Mohammed Jibrin Imam, you(2) Dr. Shafiyi Abdulsalam and(3) Barrister Mohammed Liman (at large), and during Police investigation, it was revealed that a total of N790,821,600:00k that was domiciled at the Niger State All Progressives Congress (APC), Bank Accounts in Zenith (a) Current account number 1015852453, (b), Zenith Bank  current account number 1014334918, (c) Zenith Bank current account number1013883141 and (d) All Progressives Congress Niger State account at Heritage Bank  Current account number 5000192413 and total sum of N135,184,550:00k was withdrawn with memos for the use of the All Progressives Congress, Niger State while N651,686,974:53k was withdrawn by you all without memo and unaccounted for.

 Further Police investigation also revealed that “you (4) Alhaji Muka Fasasi, Welfare Officer of All Progressives Congress, Niger State (at large), confessed to have collected N4,800,000:00k  from the Niger State House of Assembly members and brought to you (1) Engr. Mohammed Jibrin Imam and the money was shared among yourselves. “During Police investigation when you were questioned, you could not give a reasonable and satisfactory account of the said monies which records must be domiciled with the financial secretary and which the sum you all converted to your own personal use.

 “Further Police investigation revealed that you conspired among yourselves, withdrew the said sums of money above belonging to the All Progressives Congress, Niger State and converted all the monies to your own personal use; you  all are thereby suspected to have committed the above mentioned offences.”

When the charges were read to them by the chief Magistrate Nasir Mu’azu, they all pleaded not guilty to the charges.

 The Police prosecutor, Ahmed Sa’idu ASP, told the court that “having pleaded not guilty to the charges as read to them I urged the court to give us new date as investigation into the case has just commenced, as regards to the bail of the accused persons, I’m objecting to their bail, as one of the charges against the accused persons was not ordinarily bailable. Moreso, the Police is on the trail of two others that are currently at large. I objected to the bail of the accused persons.”

The defence counsel, Barrister Musa Suleiman, requested the court to admit the two accused persons on bail as they were already enjoying the bail earlier granted them by the Police and since their bail they never tried to jump nor disappear.

“The two accused persons are well established in the state with their family members here in the jurisdiction of this court; the issue of jumping bail doesn’t even arise in the first place. The Police are just making something out to deny them bail. My Lord, one of the accused persons was just discharged from 44 Army Reference Hospital, Kaduna as a result of his ill health. I urged you my Lord to admit them on bail with assurance to produce a reasonable surety that will stand for them, that is my prayer.”

The case has been adjourned to 25th of  September, 2020 , for ruling on the oral application made by the defence counsel, while the presiding chief Magistrate directed the counsel to produce the medical evidence of the accused person and ordered them to be  remanded in Federal Correctional  Facilities.