A civil servant, Mathew Zakari, and one Adamu Alidu, were on Monday arraigned before a Lokoja Upper Area Court 1 in Kogi State for allegedly defrauding farmers in the state of N67 million.
Zakari, a director in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and his alleged accomplice, Alidu, along with one Hawa Alidu, now at large, were alleged to have defrauded the state chapter of All Farmers Association of Nigeria.
According to police First Information Report, the accused were alleged to have conspired and fraudulently forged documents, which enabled them to open account No. 1015967773 with the United Bank of Africa Plc. in Lokoja in the name of AFAN.
The report added that the accused diverted the N67 million remitted into the account by the state government through the State Agriculture Credit Scheme for disbursement to registered farmers in the state.
It said that the accused withdrew and allegedly misappropriated the fund.
The accused faced a four-count charge of criminal conspiracy, criminal misappropriation, criminal breach of trust, forgery, using as genuine false documents contrary to the Penal Code.
They pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The police prosecutor, Ubani Obi, said investigation into the case was ongoing, but did not oppose their bail application, adding that they were on police bail prior to their arraignment.
Counsel to the accused persons, G.O. Ahmed and O.O. Onoja, in their oral application for bail, assured the court that the accused would not jump bail.
In his ruling, Chief Magistrate Paul Olupeka upheld the submissions of the prosecution and defence counsel and granted the accused bail in the sum of N100,000 and a surety each in the like sum.
Olupeka adjourned the case to July 2 for further mention.