The Court of Appeal sitting in Kebbi on Friday jailed a former Accountant -General of Kebbi State, Mohammed Arzika Dakingari, for 70 years over personal enrichment to the tune of N1.3billion.
The jail term was pronounced after Dakingari was convicted of the ten-count charge of fraud.
Each count attracted seven years imprisonment.
But the intermediate appellate court said that the term would run concurrently.
This implies that that Dakingari would spend seven prison calendar years in jail.
Bar and Bench Watch reports that the EFCC had accused the convict of, among others, using his office as the Accountant-General of Kebbi State for personal enrichment.
Dakingari was also charged with one other person for conspiracy and obtaining by false pretence.
According to a statement by the Head of Media and Publicity, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, Dakingari was charged alongside Musa Yusuf, Managing Director, Beal Construction Nigeria Limited which is a company owned by Dakingari and used in awarding various contracts to himself.
The statement said: “Dakingari’s stake in Beal Construction Limited was contrary to civil service regulation which forbids serving officers from owning businesses.
“Findings by the EFCC at the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, showed that Mohammed Bashir Mohammed, Anwal Sadat and Nasir Mohammed, all sons of the ex-accountant-general, are directors of the company (Beal Construction), while two of his brothers, Abduallahi Mohammed and Habibu Mohammed are the other directors.
“The construction company operates two accounts at Ecobank and Unity Bank with Dakingari and Yusuf as signatories to the accounts.
‘However, Dakingari was discovered to operate with two signatures, one in his official capacity as Accountant-Gneral of the state and the other as the owner of Beal Construction Company Limited.
“Analysis of the accounts revealed a total inflow of N1.3billion between May 2012 and September 2013, with most of the receipts coming from the Office of the Accountant-General and the Kebbi State Ministry of Finance.
“Some of the contracts executed for the state for which Beal Construction Company received huge payments included the supply of furniture to 66 secondary schools in Kebbi State valued at N987million; the connection of water and drainage system at Kebbi Central Mosque valued at N110million and the building and partitioning of Mohammed Maira Secondary School valued at N247million.
“Upon the conclusion of investigation, the EFCC filed a 20-count charge of conspiracy, obtaining by false pretence and abuse of office against Dakingari and Yusuf..
“The trial court in its determination of the case convicted and sentenced Yusuf to six months imprisonment while it discharged and acquitted Dakingari.
“Dissatisfied, the EFCC approached the Court of Appeal, asking it to set aside the judgment of the lower court and convict Dakingari as charged.
“The appellate court in its well-considered judgment allowed the appeal by the EFCC, convicted and sentenced Dakingari to seven years imprisonment each on 10 of the counts preferred against him by the anti-graft agency.