Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Ex-Taraba auditor testifies governor looted funds

18 February 2015, 07:54Augustine Osayande

Abuja - Former Taraba State Accountant General, Yusuf Yamusa, conceded collecting about N40 million out of a sum of money ex-Governor, Joel Joseph Lenbang, allegedly looted from the government coffers.

The latter is accused of looting more than N1.6 billion between January 2012 and December 2013.

The probe is ongoing at the Federal High Court in Jalingo.

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has brought Yamusa to testify against the former of Taraba State governor.

Also Read: Ex-Adamawa governor on the run as son is arrested

The EFCC has alleged, in an eight-count charge, that the former Accountant General masterminded the approval and withdrawal of the money under the false pretense that the money was being utilised for various payments to ministries, departments, agencies, bank Commission On Turnover (COT) and Value Added Tax (VAT).

The commission accused Lenbang of committing the offence “contrary to and punishable under Sections 1(2) and 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006”. The anti-graft agency in its affidavit of investigation claimed it acted on a petition (of alleged corruption) against one Baute Danladi that led to tracing the crime to Lenbang.

Although Lenbang denied committing the offences but a Yamusa under cross-examination by the defence counsel, AJ Akanmode, admitted to have collected a token amount. The accused's lawyer then referred the witness to his written statement at the EFCC on March 31, 2014, which he told the EFCC that he collected the sum of  N40 million out of the looted sum.

But when asked whether he has refunded the money to EFCC, Yamusa, who claimed memory loss, said, “I have started refunding the money but I cannot tell how much I have given the EFCC. It was little by little, but I can't remember," he said.

Yamusa, in his oral testimonies, told the court that the accused, during his time as Accountant General, used to order the sub-treasury to issue cheques and withdrawal of the money which was taken by the cashier and sub-treasury to the Deputy Accountant General who would in turn handover the money to the accused.

 The witness said when this was happening he took a bold step and confronted the accused on the transactions and the accused told him that the withdrawals were done in compliance to directives from the above in government.

Also Read:Adamawa governorship hopeful to empower women youth

However, the accused's lawyer told the witness that these pieces of his testimony were not contained in his statement with the EFCC.  Yamusa was handed his statement, in exhibit E2, to see the variance. He said he was not seeing well. The defense counsel asked whether he needed eye-glasses.
When asked whether what he told the court was reflected in his statement with the EFCC, Yamusa again claimed, “It was an oversight."

Counsel to EFCC Al'Qasim Ja'Afar prevailed on the witness to say 'yes' or 'no' where appropriate.
The defense counsel accused Yamusa of having a deal with the Acting Accountant General Titus Dauda to implicate his client.
“I put it to you that this is part of your deal with the acting accountant-general to come and give false witness against the accused (Lenbang) for him to facilitate your retirement benefits” the defense counsel said.
Justice D.U Okorowo adjourned the case to March 5 for further trial.

- CAJ News


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...