From: Romanus Okoye
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC), on Wednesday, arraigned Alhaji Mohammed Gobir, before Justice Josephine Oyefeso of an a Lagos High Court sitting at Ikeja for allegedly stealing the sum of N277m from the Kwara State government.
The alleged five count charges borders on stealing, forgery and dishonestly converting monies entrusted to him for the purchase of 3 units of Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) by the Kwara State government.
However, the 55-year-old kwara state indigene, Gobir pleaded not guilty. He was arraigned alongside his company, Mondial Defence Systems limited.
Gobir is also standing trial before Justice Raliat Adebiyi of same Ikeja division on a N45B afromedia fraud.
According to the prosecution counsel, Zainab Etu, the offences were committed sometime in November 2012, October 2013 and January 2014 in Lagos within the Ikeja Judicial division.
Etu said that the offences of Stealing and forgery was contrary to sections 285(9)(b) and 363(2)(b) of the criminal code law of Lagos State No. 11 of 2011, respectively.
“Gobir and Mondial Defence Systems Limited sometime in November, 2012 and 2013 did dishonestly converted to his personal use the sum of N92, 340, 000 and N184, 680, 000 property of the Kwara State government entrusted to him for the purchase of 3 units of APC.
” Gobir also forged a document dated 10th November, 2013 and titled -“Letter of the Award of Contract” with Reference number: S/GS/157/VII/535 purported to have emanated from the Secretary to the Government of Kwara State with intent that it may be used or acted on as genuine to the prejudice of any person.”
Meanwhile, in his confessional statement, the accused stated that his company deals on the purchases of APCs and Security vehicles for police and banks but could not fulfill the demands of the State because of the issues arising from his supplier.
The prosecution further requested for a date for trial while objecting to the bail application put forward by the defence.
But in her ruling, Justice Oyefeso however said that the nature of offence committed, though not a capital offence, was a very serious one.
“And since he has been granted bail by other courts, like Justice R. I. Adebiyi, where he is standing trial, I hereby granted him bail in the sum of N50 million with two sureties”
The judge said that the sureties must be blood relations who will show evidence of income tax payment in Lagos state for the past three years.
“The sureties must have landed properties in the state, certificate of occupancy and their residential addresses must be verified.”
The judge remanded Gobir in prison custody pending perfection of bail.
Further hearing of the matter was adjourned till 8th and 13th June, 2017.