Justice Muhammad Lawan of the Yobe State High Court has sentenced the Auditor-General for Local Government, Idris Yahaya, to five years. Yahaya was convicted after the court pronounced him guilty for criminal misappropriation of N19.9 million preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Maiduguri Zonal Command.
Spokesperson of the anti-graft agency, Wilson Uwujaren, in a statement on Monday, said Yahaya received funds from the Office of the Auditor General for Local Government and Emirate Affairs, Yobe State, for the purchase of an official vehicle, a 2015 Toyota Corolla, and diverted part of the money for personal use.
The charge reads: “That you, Yahaya Lawal Idris, being the Auditor General for Local Government, Yobe State, between May 20 and 21, 2017, at Damaturu, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, received N19,900,000 via your personal account number 1001480930 with account name Alhaji Yahaya Idris domiciled in United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA) from the Local Government Audit Account Number 5030030060 domiciled in Fidelity Bank Plc for the purchase of a brand new Toyota Corolla 2015 Model, did dishonestly misappropriated the gross sum of N10,100,000.”
The convict, who was first arraigned on November 9, 2022, had pleaded not guilty to the charges, setting the stage for his trial. In the course of the trial, EFCC counsel, Mukhtar Ahmed, called four witnesses and tendered documents, which were admitted in evidence.
Delivering judgment, yesterday, Justice Lawan held that the prosecution proved the case against the defendant and convicted him as charged. He consequently sentenced him to five years with an option of fine.
The Judge further directed the convict to pay N10.1 million in restitution to state government through the EFCC or serve additional two years term.