By Soni Daniel
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Thursday arraigned the duo of Saadu Maiwada and Sani Lawal BK before Justice Musa Danladi of the Katsina State High Court on a five-count charge of conspiracy and criminal breach of trust.
The defendants, in their capacities as then Sub Treasurer and Deputy Sub Treasurer in the office of Accountant General of Katsina State, allegedly conspired and converted the sum of N289 million from the coffers of Katsina State.
Investigation revealed that the defendants laundered the stolen funds through the account of Integrated Gas Services Limited, a company where the first defendant (Maiwada) is a director.
According to the anti-graft agency, the sum of N49 million was also allegedly transferred from the account of Integrated Gas Services Limited to the personal account of the second defendant (Lawal BK) who is now the Deputy Accountant General of the state.
One of the charges reads: “That you, Saadu Miawada and Sani Lawal BK sometime in 2017 in Katsina within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court while being entrusted with dominion over money belonging to Katsina State Government dishonestly converted to your own use the sum of N120.9 million which was transferred from Katsina State Government Sub -Treasury Expenditure Account number 1012424374 domiciled in United Bank for Africa (UBA) PLC to Integrated Gas Services Company Limited’s Fidelity Bank account no 4010693761 (CO1717299) and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 297 of the Penal Code Law of Katsina State 2021”.
Both defendants pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to them.
In view of their pleas, counsel for the prosecution, Aisha Tahar Habib prayed the court for a trial date.
Counsel for the defendants, J B Israel made an oral bail application on behalf of his clients but the prosecution objected, demanding for a formal application as the court is a court of record.
Justice Danladi, however, admitted the defendants to bail in the sum of N5 million each and ordered that each defendant must provide a surety with a landed property within Katsina and present letters of introduction from a traditional ruler.
The matter was adjourned till July 24, 2023 for trial.