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Ex-Zamfara gov arraigned over alleged diversion of N1bn, granted N100m bail

*As supporters attack ICPC staff

By Ben Agande

Abuja—Supporters of former governor of Zamfara State, Ahmed Sani Yerima, yesterday attacked staff of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Offenses Commission, ICPC, in Gusau shortly after he was arraigned before Bello Shinkafi of High Court 4 for allegedly diverting over N1 billion appropriated for the renovation of a dam to other uses.

Senator-Ahmed-Sani-Yerima
Senator-Ahmed-Sani-Yerima

But for the quick intervention of the police, the staff of the anti-graft agency would have been lynched by the irate supporters who thronged the High Court in their hundreds.

The ICPC staff were immediately taken to the Mobile Police Police barracks for protection, while chairman of the Commission, Ekpo Nta, directed that they be moved to Abuja immediately.

His arraignment, which attracted the who is who in the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the state, led by the deputy governor ,reportedly almost brought activities in the court complex to a halt.

After pleading not guilty to the 19-count charge, counsel to Senator Yerima , Mahmud Abubakar Magaji, SAN, urged the court to grant the accused bail on self-recognition.

Justice Shinkafi granted the former governor, who represents Zamfara West senatorial district in the Senate, bail in the sum of N10 0 million, with two sureties who must be resident in Gusau, with properties worth N150million.

The case has been  adjourned to March 1 for hearing.

Those who accompanied the former governor to court included the deputy governor of the state, Mallam Ibrahim Wakkala, the Secretary to the State Government, all the commissioners and members of the state House of Assembly, the chairman and members of the executive of the All Progressive Congress in the state as well as the senator representing Zamfara East and several other supporters.

Some of the 19-count charges read: ‘’That you Ahmed  Rufai  Sani on or about November, 2006 whilst being the Governor of  Zamfara  State at  Gusau  within the jurisdiction of this court did commit an offence of spending money allocated for one project on another to wit: out of N1, 000,000,000 (one billion naira) additional budgetary allocation  ZamfaraState House of Assembly allocated for the repair of collapsed  Gusau  dam and settlement of the victims of the said dam which was obtained through bank loan you spent the sum of N20,000,000 (twenty million naira) purportedly on assistance to INEC and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 22 (5) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.

‘’That you Ahmed  Rufai  Sani on or about October 2006 whilst being the Governor of  Zamfara  State at  Gusau  within the jurisdiction of this court did commit an offence of spending money allocated for one project on another to wit: out of  N1,000,000,000 (one billion naira) additional budgetary allocation  Zamfara  State House of Assembly allocated for the repair of collapsed  Gusau  dam and payment of compensation to the victims of the said dam which was obtained through bank loan you spent the sum of N10,000,000 (ten million naira) purportedly on donation and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 22 (5) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.

‘’That you Ahmed  Rufai  Sani on or about October 2006 whilst being the Governor of  Zamfara  State at  Gusau  within the jurisdiction of this court did commit an offence of spending money allocated for one project on another to wit: out of  N1,000,000,000 (one billion naira) additional budgetary allocation  Zamfara  State House of Assembly allocated for the repair of collapsed  Gusau  dam and payment of compensation to the victims of the said dam which was obtained through bank loan you spent the sum of N43,008,000 (forty three million and eight thousand naira) purportedly on surveillance of guests and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 22 (5) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.

‘’That you Ahmed  Rufai  Sani on or about November 2006 whilst being the Governor of  Zamfara  State at  Gusau  within the jurisdiction of this court did commit an offence of spending money allocated for one project on another to wit: out of N 1,000,000,000 (one billion naira) additional budgetary allocation  ZamfaraState House of Assembly allocated for the repair of collapsed  Gusau  dam and payment of compensation to the victims of the said dam which was obtained through bank loan you spent the sum of N21,450,000 (twenty-one million four  hundred and fifty thousand naira) purportedly on settlement of publication equipment and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 22 (5) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.

‘’That you Ahmed  Rufai  Sani on or about November 2006 whilst being the Governor of  Zamfara  State at  Gusau  within the jurisdiction of this court did commit an offence of spending money allocated for one project on another to wit: out of N 1,000,000,000 (one billion naira) additional budgetary allocation  ZamfaraState House of Assembly allocated for the repair of collapsed  Gusau  dam and payment of compensation to the victims of the said dam which was obtained through bank loan you spent the sum of N64,332,734 (sixty four million three hundred and thirty two thousand seven hundred and thirty four naira) purportedly on sponsorship of government officials to hajj and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 22 (5) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.’’
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