EFCC Arraigns Ex-court Registrar over N3.8m Fraud

Onuminya Innocent

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned a former Registrar of the Upper Sharia Court 1 Gusau, Zamfara State, Mr. Abubakar Garba Dandare, on a two-count charge for allegedly stealing the sum of N3, 837,634.

Dandare’s arraignment was sequel to the offence he allegedly committed while as registrar, Upper Sharia Court 1 Gusau, Zamfara State.

He was arraigned before Justice Bello Muhammad Shinkafi of the Zamfara State High Court.

The anti-graft directorate explained that the problem of Dandare began when a petitioner alleged that he dishonestly misappropriated the money being retention fee paid by the Ministry of Finance Zamfara State for the family of late Alhaji Ladan Mada, who was a contractor to the state government.

Mada, who died on May 13, 2010, was awarded a contract by the Zamfara State Government for the construction of two student hostels at Government College, Talata Mafara.

The family heirs approached the registrar to know why the retention money was not disbursed to the family and the registrar denied knowledge about the money.

A committee was constituted by Grand Khadi of Zamfara State, Dr. Dahiru Muhammad, to investigate the matter and it was established that a UBA cheque countersigned by Justice Almustapha Balarabe and Dandare was given to one Nasir Lawal (a court clerk) for the withdrawal of the said amount, which was given to Dandare, hence the petition.

The committee, upon conclusion of the investigations, directed Dandare to refund the money meant for the heirs of late Mada

Forensic investigations further revealed that the purported signature of Mada being bandied by Dandare was fake as it was forged.

However, count one of the charges reads: “That you, Abubakar Garba Dandare, Male, Adult, while being the Registrar Upper Sharia Court 1, Gusau Zamfara State, on or about the 4th day of December 2010, at Gusau, within the Judicial Division of the High Court of Zamfara State, while, being entrusted with the sum of N3,837,634 (Three Million Eight Hundred and Thirty Four Naira) retention fee paid by Ministry of Finance Zamfara State for the family of late Alhaji Ladan Mada, did dishonestly misappropriated the money to your personal use in violation of the mode in which the trust is to be discharged and thereby committed the offence of Criminal Breach of Trust contrary to Section 311 of the Penal Code Cap 89 Laws of Northern Nigeria 1963 and punishable under Section 312 of the same law.”

Before taking his plea, the Defence Counsel, Mr. Bello Umar, drew the attention of the court that the charge under which the suspect was being arraigned was defective; but the Prosecution Counsel, P. A. Attah, countered as he cited Court of Appeal decisions along with the ACJA 2015.

Justice Mohammad Shinkafi granted the accused bail with two sureties in the sum of N5 million and directed that a surety must deposit a Certificate of Landed Property within Gusau Metropolis, while both sureties must deposit their passport photographs with the court.

The judge further ruled that the accused be remanded with the Nigeria Correctional Services (NCC) pending the fulfillment of the bail conditions and adjourned the matter to June 6, 2024, for further hearing.

Related Articles