The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) closed its case of alleged N260 million fraud against a former Vice-Chancellor, Federal University, Gusau, Zamfara State, Magaji Garba, at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, in Jabi, Abuja, on Tuesday.
EFCC’s prosecuting counsel, Sylvanus Tahir, rested the prosecution’s case after the fifth prosecution witnesses, Mathias Hamawa, an inspector and investigative officer with the EFCC, finished testifying and was cross-examined by the defense.
The defendant was meant to open his defense at the next proceedings, but the EFCC noted in a statement issued about the proceedings on Tuesday that the defense opted to file a no-case commission.
Opting to file a no-case submission implies that he would be asking the court to dismiss the case on the grounds that the evidence adduced by the EFCC allegedly did not link him to the alleged offenses.
PREMIUM TIMES had reported that Mr. Garba, a professor, was arraigned before a judge of the Federal Capital Territory High, Jabi, Abuja, Maryam Hassan-Aliyu.
Mr. Garba is accused of extorting about N260 million from a contractor on the pretext of awarding him an N3billion contract for the perimeter wall fencing of the university.
One of the offences, according to Mr. Uwujaren, is said to be contrary to section 1 (1) (a) and punishable under section 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006. Mr Garba denied all five charges as he pleaded not guilty to all of them during his arraignment in October.
Testifying as the fifth prosecution witness on Tuesday, Mr. Hamawa, who was part of the EFCC’s team that investigated the case, told the court that sometimes in 2018, the defendant promised to award the complainant, a parameter wall fencing contract of Federal University, Gusau in the sum N3 billion
He then reportedly demanded N250 million from the complainant through a third party, Aliyu Burka an engineer and a procurement officer of the university.
The witness further told the court that the dollar equivalent of N250 million was given to the defendant, EFCC said in a statement issued by its spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren.
The judge adjourned the matter till February 10, 2022.
Read EFCC’s statement in full:
EFCC Press Release
Alleged N260m Fraud: EFCC Presents Another Witness, Closes Case against Ex-VC
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Tuesday, December 14, 2021, presented the fifth prosecution witnesses, in the ongoing trial of Professor Magaji Garba, former Vice-Chancellor, Federal University Gusau.
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Before Justice Maryam Hassan Aliyu of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Jabi, Abuja on a five-count charge, bordering on obtaining money by false pretense and forgery to the tune of over N260m.
The defendant allegedly extorted various sums from a contractor on the pretext of awarding him an N3 billion contract for the perimeter wall fencing of the University.