THE Maiduguri Division of the Borno State High Court presided over by Justice Haruna Mshellia has sentenced a civil servant, Ma’aji Arfo, to 28 years jail term for contract fraud worth N86.1 million.
Arfo was the General Manager of the State-owned Maiduguri Flour Mills Limited, where he committed the fraud.
Arfo was arraigned on a six-count charge by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) for infractions bordering on abuse of office and conferring undue advantage on himself, a statement by ICPC’s spokesperson, Azuka Ogugua, said on Thursday.
The convict was found guilty on four counts of fraud out of the six charges preferred against. He was sentenced to seven years imprisonment on each count. Justice Mshellia however ordered that he is to serve the terms concurrently, making it seven years.
The charges showed that Arfo, while acting as the General Manager of the Flour Mill, between 2014 and 2020, engaged in multiple fraud in violation of Sections 12 and 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and punishable under relevant Sections of the same Act.
One of the counts on which he was convicted revealed that he awarded multiple contracts to Falkwat Multilinks Limited, a private company where he was a director, to supply diesel (Automotive Gas Oil) and maize to Maiduguri Flour Mills.
Counsel for ICPC, Anas Kolo, while arguing the case, told the court that the convict in October 2015, awarded a N4.9 million contract to Falkwat Multilinks Limited to supply 40,000 litres of diesel to the flour mills.
The court further heard how Mr Arfo, while being a public servant, awarded several contracts between 2016 and 2017 to his private company, Falkwat Multilinks Limited, to supply maize to Maiduguri Flour Mills Limited.
For instance, he was said to have authorised the payments of N42.1 million to his company in July 2016 for the supply of 386.45 metric tonnes of maize and another N23 million to the same company in March, 2016 to supply 306.94 metric tonnes of maize to the state-owned flour mills.
He was convicted of an offence of approving the payment of N16 million to Falkwat Multilinks to supply 217.45 metric tonnes of maize.