The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Gombe State Zonal Office, has arraigned four former members of Board of Gombe State Internal Revenue Service before Justice Nehizena Afolabi of the Federal High Court, Gombe.
The four individuals were arraigned on 25 counts bordering on conspiracy, obtaining money by false pretence and money laundering.
The defendants — former Executive Director, Admin and Finance, Aishatu Yakubu; former Executive Director, Tax Operation, Mohammed Mohammed; former Executive Director, Tax and Audit, Wesley Kumusa Audu; and former Executive Director, Non Tax Operations, Mijinyawa Labaran — allegedly connived to pay several allowances and benefits which amounted to N47m without government approval.
The PUNCH’s Correspondent gathered that the four suspects also allegedly raised fictitious contracts, released the funds and diverted it for their personal use.
The payments were allegedly made from the national number plate account of the Board, which was meant for remittance into the state’s Internally Generated Revenue account.
All the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The prosecution counsel, A.Y. Muntaka, applied to the court for a date to commence trial.
The defence counsel, Habu Abdu, also sought the leave of the court to move the bail application of his clients.
In his ruling, Justice Afolabi granted the defendants bail in the sum of N15m each and two sureties each in like sum.
He also ordered that one of the sureties must be a blood relative of the defendant and the other, a civil servant of Grade Level 14 or above.