Education Secretary arraigned for fraud in school feeding programme


Story from Kenneth AFOR, Lagos

Barely three days after the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, disclosed that its commission uncovered up to N2.67 billion meant for school feeding in private accounts, Ishaka Abdullahi, the education secretary for Sabon Birni Local Government Area of Sokoto State was on Tuesday arraigned in court before Justice Malami Umar Dogondaji of the State High Court for fraud in the school feeding programme.

Abdullahi was arraigned on a six-count charge, for obtaining money by false pretence to the tune of N429,000 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

His arraignment came after investigations by the EFCC revealed that the nationwide Home Grown School Feeding Programme (HGSFP) of the Federal Government for primary school pupils has been hijacked by some scrupulous individuals in Sabon Birni Local Government.

On the other hand, the EFCC revealed that one Hassi Abdullahi, who was appointed as one of the cooks in the programme with a Union Bank account number 0077129142 died on March 18, 2019, yet funds were still being channelled to her account from the HGSFP account, totalling N429, 000 which was fraudulently withdrawn.

“That you, Ishaka Abdullahi on or about the 16 November 2018 at Sabon Birni Local Government Area of Sokoto State, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did obtain the sum of N135,000.00 (One Hundred and Thirty-five Thousand Naira) from Hassi Abdullahi’s account No. 0077129142, domiciled in Union Bank Plc by false pretence, contrary to Section 1 (1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) same Act,” the charge against Abdullahi reads.

He pleaded not guilty to the charge, after which the prosecution counsel S. H. Sa’ad asked for a trial date.

Justice Dogondaji granted the defendant bail on the same conditions that were applied in the earlier charge for which he is facing prosecution in the same court. He adjourned the matter till October 12, 2020, for the commencement of trial.


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