Justice Filibus Andetur of the Taraba State High Court, Jalingo on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 sentenced Maigari Bello Ibrahim and Alhaji Sani A. Mazang, former Chairman and Assistant Secretary respectively of the Yorro Local Government Area branch of the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) to nine years imprisonment for conspiracy and criminal breach of trust, contrary to Sections 97 and 315 of the Penal Code.
Maigari and Alhaji Sani were first arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC before the same court on 27 July, 2011. Their arrest and subsequent arraignment was sequel to a petition by a new generation bank which they allegedly defrauded to the tune of N14.56m. The bank, sometime in 2007, allegedly offered the union a loan facility to purchase motorcycles for its members with the agreement that the facility would be repaid through monthly deductions from the beneficiaries’ salaries for a period of 18 months; and the deducted sum remitted to the bank.
At the expiration of the repayment period the bank discovered that the accused persons had used their official positions to divert some of the deductions to their personal use.
In his ruling, Justice F. Andetur held that the two accused persons erred in their duties as responsible officials of the council, by misappropriating funds held in trust. He therefore found them guilty as charged.
Although counsel to the accused persons, Hadi B. Nguroje pleaded for mercy on behalf of his clients, Abubakar Aliyu, prosecution counsel urged the court to do justice as the law demands.
In sentencing the accused persons, Justice Andetur, said he had taken cognizance of the pleas and position of the law. He therefore sentenced them to 2 years each on the 1st count and 7 years on count 2 respectively. Alternatively, they are to pay a fine of N25, 000 and N50, 000 on counts 1 and 2 respectively.