From The Court

Former VC Docked For N250m Fraud, Remanded In Prison

Former Vice Chancellor of Federal University Gusau, Professor Magaji Garba has been arraigned on a five count charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretence and forgery.

The defendant was brought by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, before Justice Maryam Hassan Aliyu of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Jabi Abuja on Tuesday.

He was said to have extorted various sums from a contractor on the pretext of awarding him a N3billion contract for the perimeter wall fencing of the University.

The offence is contrary to section 1 (1) (a) and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006.

Count two of the charge reads: “That you, Professor Magaji Garba, whilst being the Vice Chancellor, Federal University, Gusau on or about the 15th of May, 2019 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory Abuja with intent to defraud obtained the sum of N100,000,000 (One Hundred Million Naira) from Alhaji Shehu Umar Sambo, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Ministaco Nigeria Limited, a contractor executing the construction of the Grand Convocation Square of the Federal University, Gusau under the false pretence of awarding a project for the perimeter wall fencing of the University valued at the total sum of N3,000,000,000.00 (Three Billion Naira) which representation/pretense you knew to be false.”

Count three reads: “That you, Professor Magji Garba, whilst being the Vice Chancellor, Federal University, Gusau on or about the 1st August, 2019 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja with intent to defraud obtained the sum of N150,000,000.00 (One Hundred and fifty Million Naira from Alhaji Shehu Umar Sambo, Managing Director/Chief Executive officer of Ministaco Nigeria Limited, a contract executing the construction of the Grand Convocation Square at the Federal University, Gusau under the false presence of awarding a project for the perimeter wall fencing of the University valued at the total sum of N3,000,000,000.00 (Three Billion Naira), which representation/ pretense you knew to be false.”

He however denied the charge when read to him.

Following his plea, counsel to the EFCC, Sylvanus Tahir asked for a date for trial to commence in full swing and requested that the defendant be remanded in prison custody.

Counsel to the defendant, R. Usman applied for the bail of his client but the prosecution counsel would not allow the application on the ground that he was only served today, at around 10:33 am.

The judge after listening to the argument of the counsel adjourned the matter for hearing of the bail application and remand the defendant in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Service until Thursday, October 14, 2021.

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