The Borno State High Court, sitting in Maiduguri, has ordered the remand of Engr. Abba Yusuf, a permanent secretary in the Borno State Road Maintenance Agency (BORMA) and two others.

The Maiduguri Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) had arraigned Engr. Yusuf and two others before Justice Aisha Kumaliya of the Borno State High Court.

Other officials of BORMA standing trial with Yusuf are Mustapha Kura (transport officer) and Abubakar Mustapha (cashier).

The trio were arraigned on a 36-count charge, bordering on criminal conspiracy, forgery, obtaining money by false pretence, misappropriation, and diversion of public funds to the tune of N118, 368,705 (Hundred and eighteen Million, Three Hundred and Sixty-eight Thousand, Seven Hundred and Five Naira) on Tuesday.

The trio were also accused of forging receipts of different companies and inflating costs of officially procured items with the intent of defrauding BORMA.

Count two of the charges reads: “That you, Engr. Abba Yusuf, Mustapha Kura and Abubakar Mustapha, sometime in 2011, in Maiduguri, Borno State within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, while being the permanent secretary, transport officer and cashier respectively of Borno State Road Maintenance Agency (BORMA) and in such capacities, being entrusted with dominion over certain properties to wit: N91,550,000 (Ninety One Million, Five Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira) only, being monies approved for the purchase of 250/tonne stone crusher machine, committed a criminal breach of trust in respect of the sum of N13,550,000 (Thirteen Million, Five Hundred and Fifty Naira) only, by diverting the said sum to personal use and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 315 of the Penal Code Cap102, Laws of Borno State.”

The three pleaded not guilty to all the charges laid against them by the anti-graft agency.

Following their plea, prosecution counsel, Benjamin Manji, prayed the court for a trial date and for the defendants to be remanded in prison custody.

The defence counsel, A.A Alfa, however, pleaded with the court to remand them in the custody of the EFCC pending the determination of their bail application.

Justice Kumaliya remanded the accused persons in prison custody pending the determination of their bail application.

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