The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned a former senator, Umaru Argungu, on charges of criminal misappropriation of public funds to the tune of N419million.
Mr Argungu, who represented Kebbi North in the 6th Senate, was arraigned before the Sokoto State High Court in Sokoto.
The EFCC accused Mr Argungu of diverting the total N419, 744, 612: 30 invested in his company by Sokoto State Government to create jobs and boost the economy of the state.
The money was said to have been paid by the Sokoto State Government as 40 percent equity stake in the former senator’s firm Hijrah Investment Nigeria Limited, owners of Hijrah Textile Ltd.
The charge reads: “That you Senator Umar Tafida while being the Chairman of Hijrah Textiles Company Limited and Hijrah Investment Nigeria Limited sometime between 2016 and 2017 at Sokoto within the jurisdiction of the High Court of Justice Sokoto State, being entrusted with the total sum of N419, 744, 612. 30 (Four Hundred and Nineteen Million, Seven Hundred and Forty Four Thousand, Six Hundred and Twelve Naira, Thirty Kobo) paid by the Sokoto State government, representing 40% investment of shareholding in your company to boost the economy of the state, dishonestly misappropriated the money in violation of the mode in which such trust was to be discharged and thereby committed Criminal Breach of Trust contrary to Section 311 of the Penal Code Law CAP 89, Laws of Northern Nigeria and punishable under Section 312 of the same Law”.
The defendant pleaded not guilty to the one-count charge.
He was however, granted bail in the sum of N50 million (Fifty Million Naira) and two sureties in like sum. The sureties must reside and have property within the Jurisdiction of the Court.
The Presiding Judge, Justice Mohammed, adjourned the case till March 18, 2021 for commencement of trial.