from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – NIGERIA’S anti-corruption agency has arraigned three bankers for allegedly defrauding government of N1,205 million (about R60 000) meant to finance a feeding scheme for primary schoolchildren.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is seeking the prosecution of bank officials, Ngozi Agbonjari, Micheal Alabi and Zaharaddeen Ibrahim, from the northwestern state of Sokoto.
The trio, being staff of Union Bank in the state, allegedly conspired among themselves to issue Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards to an impostor, purportedly a client of the bank, who used the cards to withdraw the said money for their personal use.
They are a bank teller, a sales service executive and direct sales agent of the bank respectively.
The money stolen from the accounts was meant for the Home Grown School Feeding Programme initiative of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
It was for primary school pupils spread across the 23 local government areas of Sokoto.
Two other suspects named as Sa’adatu Musa and Aisha Sambo are now at large.
The accused have secured bail to the tune of N500 000 (about R25 000) each.
Justice Muhammed Muhammed of the Sokoto State High Court has adjourned the case to April 23 for commencement of trial.
Theft of funds meant for the poor is rampant in Nigeria.
Corruption is partly blamed for the poverty afflicting a country that is rated Africa’s biggest economy. President Muhammadu Buhari has prioritised the fight against graft.
– CAJ News