Justice Haruna Mshellia of the Borno State High Court 3, sitting in Maiduguri, on Thursday sentenced a civil servant, Ma’aji Shettima Arfo, to 28-years-imprisonment for engaging in an N86.1 million contract fraud.
Arfo was charged on a six-count by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) for offences bordering on abuse of office and conferring undue advantage on himself.
He was the General Manager of the state-owned Maiduguri Flour Mills Limited, where he was said to have committed the fraud.
According to the charge sheet, Arfo, while acting as the General Manager of the Flour Mill, between 2014 and 2020, engaged in multiple frauds in violation of Sections 12 and 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and punishable under relevant sections of the same Act.
One of the counts on which he was convicted revealed that he awarded multiple contracts to Falkwat Multilinks Limited, a private company where he was a director, to supply diesel (Automotive Gas Oil) and maize to Maiduguri Flour Mills.
Counsel to ICPC, Anas Mohammed Kolo, while arguing the case, told the court that the convict in October 2015, awarded an N4.9 million contract to Falkwat Multilinks Limited to supply 40,000 litres of diesel to the flour mills.
Kolo further detailed the court of how Arfo, while a public servant, awarded several contracts between 2016 and 2017 to his private company, Falkwat Multilinks Limited, to supply maize to Maiduguri Flour Mills Limited.
The counsel also narrated how the defendant authorized the payments of N42.1 million to his company in July 2016 for the supply of 386.45 metric tonnes of maize and another N23 million to the same company in March 2016 to supply 306.94 metric tonnes of maize to the state-owned flour mills.
At end of the trial, Justice Mshellia found the general manager guilty of four counts out of six preferred against him and sentenced him to seven years imprisonment on each count, ruling that the prison terms would run concurrently.
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