By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA—-The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, has arraigned former Secretary to the Kebbi State Government, Alhaji Garba Kamba over his alleged complicity in the misapplication of public funds to the tune of N664 million.
Kamba was docked before Justice Umar Abubakar of the Kebbi State High Court, alongside a former Commissioner of Finance in the state, Alhaji Mohammed Tunga.
The duo, who served under the immediate past Governor of the state, Alhaji Saidu Dakingari, are facing a 4-count criminal charge bordering on criminal conspiracy, theft, conferring corrupt advantage on themselves and using their positions for gratification.
In one of the counts in the charge marked KB/HC/27C/2017, ICPC alleged that while in office as public officers, Kamba and Tunga, conspired and diverted the sum of N349,475,000 meant for the provision of power generators and “other logistics” for all polling units in Kebbi State for the 2015 general elections.
The defendants were also accused of using their offices as SSG and Commissioner of Finance to siphon N315,000,000 which sum was approved and released to organize sensitization and enlightenment programmes for Imams and Mallams against religious incitement of supporters for the 2015 general elections in the 21 Local Government Areas of Kebbi State.
ICPC spokesperson, Mrs Rasheedat A. Okoduwa, in a statement on Wednesday, said the anti-graft, after its “intelligence-led investigation”, discovered that the defendants shared the diverted funds to “their political cronies, as no power generators were purchased nor was any Imam or Mallam among the beneficiaries of the sensitization money”.
The defendants were accused of committing offences contrary to and punishable under sections 19 and 26 (1) (c) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.
If found guilty, they would upon conviction, be liable to a term of 5 years imprisonment without an option of fine.
Meantime, the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge, even as their lawyers, Mr. Ahmad Fingilla and Lagalo Dan Lagalo respectively, prayed the court to allow them on bail pending their trial.
In a short ruling, trial Justice Abubakar granted each of the defendants bail in the sum of N10million with one surety each in like sum.
The Judge stressed that the sureties must be resident and possess property worth N10million within the jurisdiction of the court.
The case was subsequently adjourned to October 26 for the commencement of hearing.