Sokoto: Former Senator arraigned for alleged N419m scam

A former Senator has been arraigned before Justice Mohammed Mohammed, of the Sokoto State High Court yesterday for an alleged financial scam.

Senator Argungu, who represented Kebbi-North in the 6th Senate, was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on one count charge of criminal misappropriation of public funds to the tune of N419, 744, 612. 30.

The former Senator was alleged to have diverted the said sum which was paid by the Sokoto State government as 40percent equity stake in Hijrah Investment Nigeria Limited, owners of Hijrah Textile Ltd.

The Sokoto State government had entered into an agreement with the former Senator to buy a 40% stake in his company Hijrah Investment Nigeria Limited in order to create jobs and boost the economy of the State.

However, investigations revealed several withdrawals and transfers from the said account to individuals not remotely connected to the objectives of turning around the company. Also, according to reports, a visit to the company premises by investigators showed a company in a severe state of abandonment and dilapidation.

The Senator pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the charge. Based on his plea, the prosecution counsel, S.H. Sa’ad asked the court for a date to commence trial while defence counsel, Ibrahim Abdullahi moved a verbal motion for the bail of his client.

Justice Mohammed granted the defendant bail in the sum of N50 million and two sureties in like sum; the sureties must reside and have property within the jurisdiction of the Court. The judge further ruled that the defendant’s international passport be deposited with the court.

The case has been adjourned till March 18, 2021 for the commencement of trial.

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