The Court of Appeal, Kebbi Division has upturned the judgment of a Kebbi State High Court which discharged and acquitted a Kebbi State Accountant-General (AG), Mohammed Arzika Dakingari, on charges of conspiracy and obtaining by false pretence preferred against him and one other by EFCC
He, among other things allegedly used his office as the AG, Kebbi State for personal enrichment to the tune of N1.6billion.
Dakingari was charged alongside Musa Yusuf, Managing Director, Beal Construction Nigeria Limited; a company owned by him (Dakingari) and used in award various contracts to himself.
Dakingari’s stake in Beal Construction Limited is contrary to civil service regulation which forbids serving officers from owning businesses
Findings by the EFCC at the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, showed that Mohammed Bashir Mohammed, Anwal Sadat and Nasir Mohammed, all sons of the AG, are directors of the company, while two of his brothers, Abduallahi Mohammed and Habibu Mohammed are the other two directors.
Analysis of the accounts revealed a total credit of N1.3billion between May 2012 and September 2013, with most of the receipts coming from the Office of the Accountant-General and the Kebbi State Ministry of Finance.
Upon the conclusion of investigation, the EFCC filed a 20-count charge of conspiracy, obtaining by false pretence and abuse of office against Dakingari and Yusuf.
The trial court in its determination of the case convicted and sentenced Yusuf to 6 months imprisonment while it discharged and acquitted Dakingari. Dissatisfied, the EFCC approached the Court of Appeal asking it to set aside the judgment of the lower court and convict Dakingari as charged.
The appellate court in its judgment convicted and sentenced Dakingari to 7years imprisonment each on 10 of the counts preferred against him. The sentence is, however, to run concurrently.