15th July, 2012
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has arraigned three clerics before Justice M. S. Shuaibu of the Federal High Court sitting in Yola, Adamawa State on a six count charge bordering on money laundering and obtaining N10million by false pretences.
Alhaji Inuwa Usman and Alhaji Chindo M.D. Bose, both leaders of the Taraba State chapter of the Muslim Council allegedly conspired with Reverend John Simon Jatutu, who was the Special Adviser to the State Government on Religious Matters to divert part of the funds approved to the council by the state government towards the celebration of the country’s Golden Jubilee.
The Taraba State government had in September 2010 approved N42million for the Christian Association of Nigeria and the Muslim Council for purposes of the 50th Independence celebration.
Both Faiths shared the money equally with each getting N21million but the three accused persons cornered N10m from the Muslim Council share of the grant and declared only N11million to the council.
However, members of the council later got wind of the actual amount approved for them, which prompted a petition to the EFCC.
When the charges were read to the accused persons, they pleaded not guilty, prompting the prosecution counsel, Al Qasim Jaafar to request the court to fix a date for the commencement of trial.
He opposed the bail application by defence counsel, Ukaegbu Onyi, on the grounds that the accused had jumped administrative bail granted them by the Commission.
However ruling on the bail application, Justice Shuaibu took cognizance of the forthcoming judicial recess and granted the accused persons bail in the sum of N1.5 million each and a surety in like sum.