By Adebisi Adeyemi Lagos, Nigeria
The trial of a former governor of Gombe State, Mohammad Danjuma Goje continued on Wednesday before Justice B. Quadri of the Federal High Court sitting Jos, Plateau State with two witnesses testifying.
Goje is facing trial alongside Aliyu El-Nafaty, S. M. Dokoro and Sabo Muhammad Tumu on charges of conspiracy, money laundering and embezzlement of funds belonging to the Gombe State government.
He is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in relation to alleged financial impropriety, including the contract on food supply to the state government house during his tenure as well as loan facilities taken from banks.
While being led in evidence by counsel to EFCC, Wahab Shittu, Barrister Rukaiyatu Adamu Jalo, director legal services, Gombe State House of Assembly, told the court that there was no place where N1billion loan facility, CBN Agricultural Credit Scheme or N830million SUBEB equity contribution funds were budgeted or mentioned in the record of the State Assembly.
When a resolution of the State House of Assembly authorising Goje to aquire the facility from Access Bank was shown to her, Jalo whose testimony began on Tuesday, insisted that there was no such record from the State Assembly.
Her words: “For any project to be executed, it has to go through Appropriation or through supplementary budget for it to have legal effect. Therefore, the amount mentioned above has no legal backing of Appropriation Act”.
Ahmed Garba Gombe, Acting Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, Gombe State Ministry of Education, while testifying as PW14 stated that the contract to supply 700,000 copies of dictionaries each to Gombe State primary schools and Gombe State Junior Secondary Schools was awarded to Real Integrated Company after it was advertised in national dailies.
“The term of payment stated in the contract was to pay 15 percent mobilisation fee, 35 percent after performing, another 35percent again, and then 15 percent final payment after the execution of the contract. But, in the aforementioned contract, 85 percent payment was made to the contractor by paying 15 percent and 70 percent, which is against the term stated in the contract”, said Gombe.
The witnesses were cross examined by the defence counsel, Paul Erokoro, SAN.
Thereafter, Justice Quadri adjourned to September 27, 2017 for continuation of trial.