The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) on Wednesday arraigned the immediate past governor of Kebbi State, Saidu Dakingari, over alleged misapplication of about N1.09billion belonging to the State.
The court was told that a former Commissioner of Finance in the state, Mohammed Tunga, who was supposed to have been arraigned with him, died recently.
The former governor was arraigned before Ismail Bashir, a judge of the Kebbi State High Court 2, in Birnin Kebbi, on a six-count charge of criminal conspiracy, theft, conferring corrupt advantage on political cronies and using position for gratification.
He was accused of conniving with the now deceased former commissioner and the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Garba Kamba, to defraud the state of about N349.5 million.
The ICPC said they diverted the fund meant for the provision of power generators and “other logistics” for polling units in Kebbi State for the 2015 general elections to their private use.
Mr Dakingari, who led the state between 2007 and 2015, was further accused of conspiring with his political associates to misappropriate about N430million released for the provision of logistics support for security agencies during the 2015 general elections.
The two-term governor was also charged for allegedly siphoning about N315 million, approved and disbursed to Imams and Mallams to sensitise and enlighten citizens of the state against religious incitement of supporters for the 2015 general elections in the 21 local government areas of the state.
Messrs Tunga and Kamba are already facing prosecution by the commission at the state high court.
With the death of Mr Tunga, the ICPC prosecution counsel asked the court to strike out his name from the suit. The request was granted by the court.
ICPC told the court that investigations revealed the amounts were shared among the former governor’s political allies, as no power generators were purchased, nor was any Imam or Mallam among the beneficiaries of the sensitisation money.
In the suit, Charge No: KB/HC/27C/2017, ICPC’s counsel, Elijah Akaakohol, averred the defendant’s actions contravened laws punishable under sections 19 and 26 (1) (c) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.
If found guilty, ICPC said the would be liable to a term of five years imprisonment without an option of fine.
The former governor, however, pleaded not guilty to all the charges preferred against him when they were read out to him.
Counsel to the accused person, Adegboyega Awomolo, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), through a written application, sought the relief of the court to grant his client bail.
The bail was granted in the sum of N10 million and one surety in like sum who must be resident and possess property worth N10million within the jurisdiction of the court.
Spokesperson of ICPC, Rasheedat Okoduwa, said in a statement sent to newsmen, the case has been adjourned to December 4 and 5 for the commencement of trial.