By Evelyn Usman
Makurdi zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, yesterday, arraigned one Moses Peter Adoga before Justice Simon O. Aboki of the Nasarawa State High Court sitting in Lafia, Nasarawa State, on a one-count charge for dishonestly converting the sum of N19,765,200 being a Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) grant to study for a PhD, to other purposes.
Trouble, started for Adoga, a lecturer with the Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Natural and Applied Science, Nasarawa State University Keffi, when a petitioner alleged that he obtained a TETFUND grant for the sum of N19, 756, 200 through Nasarawa State University in 2010 to study PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology at Bangor University, United Kingdom.
He allegedly obtained the money under disguise of overseas PhD training and never presented any evidence of going or graduating, eighth years after he received the grant.
Analysis of his statement of account by the EFCC, showed that the suspect diverted the funds for business and sundry purposes other than the reason the funds were given.
The count charge reads: “That you Moses Peter Adoga, sometime in 2011 in Keffi within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court being entrusted with the sum of N19,765,200, from TETFUND paid into your United Bank for Africa account through Nasarawa State University Diamond Bank Account, for the purpose of Academic staff training and development at Bangor University in the United Kingdom; did dishonestly convert same to your own use and thereby committed a criminal breach of trust contrary to section 311 and punishable under section 312 of Penal Code Laws”.
He pleaded not guilty to the one count charge.
In view of his plea, prosecution counsel, Mary Onoja prayed for a date for the commencement of trial. She also prayed that the defendant be remanded in prison custody pending the hearing of his bail application.
However, the defense counsel, S. K. Sheltu orally applied for bail for his client and Justice Simon O. Aboki granted the defendant bail in the sum of N2 million with two sureties in like sum.
The defendant is to surrender his international passport to the registrar of the Court.
The Judge adjourned the matter till July 10, 2019 for commencement of trial.