Corruption Charges: How Gov Dankwambo Commissioner, Permanent Secretary Purchased Auctioned Vehicles— EFCC Witness
The Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC’s Principal witness told the court last week that Governor Hassan Dankwambo commissioner, permanent secretary, and some serving Directors bought the auctioned vehicles during Ex-Gov. Goje’s government.
It was gathered that the charges against the former Governor bordering on conspiracy and money laundering, commenced in 2011 with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, presenting 23 witnesses, who testified as, the 19th, 20th, 21st,22nd and 23rd witnesses since inception.
Goje is standing trial along with Aliyu El-Nafaty, S.M. Dokoro and Sabo Muhammad Tumu, before Justice Babatunde Quadri, at the Federal High Court in Jos, Plateau State, for alleged embezzlement of state funds.
They are alleged to have engaged in financial impropriety, including the contract of food supply to the state government house, during Goje’s tenure, and loan facilities obtained from banks.
Prosecution counsel, Wahab Shittu, through the 15th witness PW 23rd State House of Assembly Service Commission and Former General Manager told the court that the auctioneer auctioned non-serviceable vehicles to the general public including civil servants who bided and bought them N500, 000 each, as he tendered several documents to prove his case against them.
He explained further that documents tendered included the certified true copy of the March 2006 federal government’s approved guideline and the certified true copies of receipts dated September 9, 2003, to 2011 relating to the amount of loan obtained from banks.
The prosecuting counsel, Barrister Wahab Shittu said EFCC have witnesses compare BBB 15 -19th Afrix bank,5 intercontinental bank BBB20th -24th and Union Bank BBB1st -25th with CCC with the witness agreed matching grants account from the central bank.
The PW 19th Daniela Andrew Angyu the Deputy Manager banking and finance system Account said, “I am not aware of UBE matching grants, then, the prosecutor, Barrister Shittu asked her why are you in Court? , I was subpoenaed, to testify or produce an account on open documents in the CBN by Gombe state between 2003 -2011.
“Do you have the documents, she said, no accounts were opened by Gombe state and, no account was opened for matching grants for Gombe, so am not in a position to present any statement , I don’t know anything regarding the said money CBN witness.
Miss Daniela Andrew pleaded with the honorable court that; “I want the court to take it that there was no UBE account open between the administration of Danjuma Goje and her employment letter read 2015.
However, the PW 20th Mrs. Amina Ahmed Habib, a Director told the court that she was in court based on an email sent to her to appear in court and explain details of the 3/11/2011 re-commercial credit change agriculture.
The documents were marked exhibit, AAA3, we don’t have anything in our file the PW 20th.
While cross-examining her on the facts of the matter Hajiya Habib told the defense counsel that CBN doesn’t have a direct link with Gombe state, we only deal with the Union Bank, and she added that Union Bank wrote to them requesting Subpoenaed to produce not as a witness.
According to the CBN staff, Gombe state approached them on one billion loan through Union Bank, because the original purpose was for small-scale farmers but then when the approved planting season was over and we have communication that Union Bank wrote to CBN requesting for change of purpose on lending which was granted as seen in the documents titled; “AAA3, a document that was also tendered before the court .
PW 21st, Alhaji Usman Abubakar the Accountant with Gombe state government reflecting on payment for the food supply contractor, he presented 9 chequebooks for the sum of N1.4 billion from between 2003-2011 from different banks and tendered as exhibits.
The court admitted them as exhibits from the banks as she read to the court, conditions stipulated in the document, required for accessing the UBE matching grant by states, and told the court that he was in charge of disbursement of state funds.
Under cross-examination, Mrs. Amina told the defense counsel that the supply of food by the contractor was covered by the guidelines.
Barrister Shittu told the court that, according to the guidelines, “Former Governor Danjuma Goje operated Under Process Committee, which must include the ministry of transport, Board Secretary, Director of Planning, Research and Statistics, Director of Finance, representative, and Procurement Officer, as members”.
Shittu, further confronted the witness, with exhibits CCC which the defense argued that is not in accordance with the law practice.
“The provisions of the guidelines are sacrosanct and inviolable, and not even UBEC can waive the conditions stipulated in the guidelines,” he said.
Testifying as the 16th prosecution witness, Saliu Sambo, Director of Admin and Finance in the state, gave evidence as regards details of food supply from 2003 and 2011 under Goje’s administration.
The prosecution, through the witness, made references to exhibits AAA1 to AAA6 and BBB1 to BBB2, which confirmed evidence of payments with respect to food supplied to the State Government House, shown in another document tendered in evidence, and admitted as exhibit CCC.
PW 22nd, Mrs Rabi Sa’ad also confirmed that the money one billion credit loan through Union Bank was paid, it was disbursed into Gombe state fertilizer account as instructed for same to transfer documents were also tender by the prosecution but no objection on commercial agriculture A/C 0015751905.
The contractor engaged to supply food to the Government House, who happens to be the cousin to Goje in 2003 to 2011 during the administration of Senator Goje.
“The total money paid to the food contractor covering the period of 2003 to 2011 is N1, 451,682,518.6 and it consists of various payments to the contractor ranging from the sum of N500, 000,” he said.
The General Manager Gombe state transport service, who testified for the 23rd witness, confirmed amount paid to vehicles bought auctioned.
“It was my duty to clear those two banks issues clearance to me based on approval from Accountant-General for payment as photocopies of all cheques are available,” he said.
The statement by Adamu, in which he confirmed his testimony during interrogation, was tendered in evidence and admitted by the court.
Justice Quadri, also admitted as exhibit BBBB20th 25th “Guidelines for Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria and Federal Government of Nigeria”, which was tendered in evidence.
According to PW 23th Adamu Aliyu, Gombe state transport service took loans from 3 different banks in 2003 to purchase 50 NISSA buses which were all paid within the stipulated period.
Justice Quadri has adjourned further proceedings to adjourned hearing of more witnesses on 6th -7th February 2018.