Kwara: EFCC arraigns ex-scholarship board chairperson, two others for fraud

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By Steve Oni, Ilorin

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned the immediate past Chairperson of the Kwara State Scholarship Board, Hajia Fatimah Yusuf and two others for their alleged involvement in bursary fraud.

Yusuf was arraigned alongside Fatai Lamidi and Stephen Ajewole before the Court Presided over by Justice Sikiru Oyinloye.

Count two of the charge against the defendants stated: “That you, Fatimah Yusuf (While being the Chairman, Kwara State Scholarship Board), Fatai Lamidi (While being the Executive Secretary Kwara State Scholarship Board) and Ajewole Stephen (while being the Accountant, Kwara State Scholarship Board) between the months of November 2018 and May 2019, in Ilorin, within the jurisdiction of this honourable Court, while acting in that capacity and entrusted with N50,000,000.00 (fifty million naira) for the payment of 2018 bursary awards to 10,000 Students who are indigenes of Kwara State, dishonestly disposed of #6,269,950 out of the above sum in violation of the direction of law prescribing the mode the trust is to be discharged, thereby committed criminal breach of trust punishable under section 315 of the same law.”

Count seven of the charge stated: “That you Fatimah Yusuf (While being the Chairman, Kwara State Scholarship Board), Fatai Lamidi (While being the Executive Secretary Kwara State Scholarship board) Ajewole Stephen ( While being the Accountant, Kwara State Scholarship board) between the months of November 2018 and May 2019 in Ilorin, within the jurisdiction of this honourable Court, while acting in that capacity fraudulently used as genuine forged documents of accounts titled “List of 2018 bursary award payment vouchers” which you knew to be forged and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 366 of the penal code and punishable under section 364 of the same law.”

All the defendants pleaded not guilty to the seven count charge levelled against them by the anti graft body.

When the matter was called for arraignment on Wednesday, Prosecuting Counsel, Blessing Akinsola told the Presiding Judge that “My Lord, we have a seven count charge dated 21st of December 2019, we pray this honourable Court to accept the charge and allow it to be read to all the defendants.”

Counsel to the defendants, Isau Saka, and Y.O Ahmed, however, did not oppose the application but urged the Judge to grant them bail pending the hearing and determination of the case.

Justice Oyinloye however granted them bail of ten million naira with two sureties in like sum, adding that the defendants must submit their travel documents to the Court.

Further hearing in the matter has been adjourned till 26th of February 2020 for commencement of trial.

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