N39m Fraud: ICPC Arraigns 1st Class Emir

The Emir of Birnin Magaji, HRH Alhaji Ahmed Umar Birnin Magaji, has been arraigned before Honourable Justice M.T.M Aliyu Tukur of Kaduna State High Court 7 sitting in Kaduna by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) for alleged inflation of the costs of procuring items and award of contracts to his personal company.

Alhaji Magaji, who was a procurement officer with the Kaduna Polytechnic but is currently a First-Class Emir of the Zamfara State Emirate Council was arraigned on a 7-count charge bordering on holding a private interest in the award of contracts, fraudulent acquisition of property, abuse of office, conferring corrupt advantage upon himself and inflation of the costs of procuring goods to the tune of N39,461,027.50

Alhaji Magaji is accused of jacking up the price of an executive conference table from N350,000 to N1,250,000 and the cost of a Chinese carpet from N567,600 to N2,017,600.

The defendant is also said to have used his office as a procurement officer to award the contract for the rehabilitation of a road and vehicle parking lot worth N12,662,590, and the procurement of 1,277 two-seater classroom chairs worth N22,459,237.50 to his personal company, Skylight Nigeria Limited.

The accused person’s actions are contrary to sections 12,19 and 22, sub-section 3 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000, and on conviction shall be liable to a term of imprisonment ranging from 5 to 7 years.

When he was admitted in court, the monarch entered a “not-guilty plea” to all the charges leveled against him.

Counsel to the accused then prayed the court to grant his client bail based on self-recognition on the grounds that the emir was a recipient of the National Award of Member of the Federal Republic (MFR), and promised that he would ensure the presence of the traditional ruler in court throughout the duration of trial.

The accused was therefore granted bail in the sum of N2 million with a surety in like sum who must be a civil servant not below Grade Level 14 with evidence of having been residing in Kaduna for the past 5 years.

The case was adjourned to 29th June 2017 for the commencement of trial.