The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Tuesday arraigned the duo of Murtala Salisu, acting Director Works of the Gombe State University, and Sanusi Sani Abdullahi, director engineering Federal Teaching Hospital, Gombe, alongside a company, SST Nigeria Limited, before Justice B.L Iliya of the Gombe State High Court on an 8-count charge bordering on diversion of public funds and abuse of office.
Their arraignment followed investigation of a petition alleging that Murtala, the first accused, fraudulently manipulated and issued contract award letters for consulting job, a duty that ought to be performed by the registrar.
It was also alleged that Tetfund contracts, including special intervention and NEED’s Assessment, were awarded to cronies and friends.
Investigation revealed that Murtala received various sum of money as gratification from Sanusi for the contract executed by his company, SST Nigeria Limited, at the Gombe State University.
These transactions were carried out through financial institutions.
Count four of the charge reads: “That you Murtala Salisu, being a public officer, Ag. Director Works at the Gombe State University, Gombe State, in such capacity on or about the 21st July, 2015, on account of contract for Needs Assessment Presidential Special Intervention Project- Tetfund executed by SST Nig. Ltd at Gombe, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did received for yourself monetary benefit of =N=5,000,000.00 (five million naira) through your Access Bank Account No.0025046803, from the said SST Nig. Ltd ( contractor), thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 10 (a)(i)(ii) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, No5 LFN, 2000.”
They pleaded not guilty to all the charges preferred against them.
In view of their pleas, the prosecution counsel, A. M Labaran, applied for a date for trial.
While adjourning the case to June 22, 2017, Justice Iliya granted bail to all the accused persons for N5 million each and two sureties in like sum.
The sureties, according to the judge, must have landed property with Certificate of Occupancy within the jurisdiction of the court.