The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on March 23, 2020 presented three witnesses against Abba Yusuf, a permanent Secretary in the Borno State Road Maintenance Agency, BORMA, who is facing a 36-count amended charge before Justice Aisha Kumaliya of a Borno State High Court, Maiduguri.
Yusuf is being prosecuted alongside Mustapha Kura, transport officer, and Abubakar Mustapha, cashier for criminal conspiracy, forgery, obtaining money by false pretence, misappropriation and diversion of public funds.
Testifying as the first prosecution witness (PW1), Mustapha Muhammad narrated how transactions made between Muhammad and the first defendant did not conform to financial regulations.
Led in evidence by counsel for the EFCC, Mukhtar Ahmed, he said he was in court because of a petition he wrote to the EFCC in respect of a financial transaction that took place while he was the Chief Accountant of BORMA.
He said: “On 20th June 2011, I was called by Engr. Abba Yusuf who informed me that, the sum of over N400m was released to BORMA and he directed me to write a cheque amounting to N75m. I asked him to write an approval to that effect and he said it is an emergency, that later he will oblige me with the approval.
“I wrote a cheque of N20m, N25m and 30m respectively and handed over same to Yusuf as requested by him. Even though it’s my duty to cash money from the bank, Yusuf as well being him amongst the signatories can do that.
“After insisting and making effort to get approval of the said funds in order to raise a voucher, I was transferred out of the agency.”
Muhammad Shuaibu, the Acting Chief Accountant BORMA, while testifying as the second witness, PW2, told the court that in 2011, he was posted to maintain financial records of BORMA, but was invited and questioned by the EFCC in respect of payment vouchers he updated.
He said: “I was showed some vouchers, of which I was asked about their authenticity and I answered in the affirmative; because all the vouchers were attached with approvals.
“Even though, the vouchers were supposes to be raised by PW1, but he did not do so.
“Around June 2011, PW1 was transferred from the agency and I took over from him.
“During that time I raised the vouchers of N10m, N25m and N30m respectively.”
The third witness, PW3, Abba Mustapha, a Store Officer with BORMA told the court that based on PW1’s refusal to raise receiving and payment vouchers, respectively, there were vouchers sent from EFCC Maiduguri office for authentication.
He said: “The EFCC sent some vouchers of 2011 during the year 2017.
“Based on the delay on retirement, the Cashier said we should do a late retirement, which I refused and told him to countersign before I later signed.”
During the proceeding, Justice Kumaliya admitted and marked as exhibits, the petition written against the defendant, seven payment vouchers in evidence as A-H10.
The case has been adjourned until March 25, 2020.