Justice Adamu Abbas of Yola Upper Area Court III in Adamawa State has convicted and sentenced five Staff of Centre for Health and Development in Africa ( CHEDA ) to seven years Imprisonment each for diversion of Victims Support Fund ( VSF ) Foster Care Intervention Funds amounting to N9.1 million.
Fact of the case revealed that in 2016, Centre For Health and Development in Africa (CHEDA) received a grant sum of N2,032,500.00 (Two Million, Thirty Two Thousand, Five Hundred Naira) only from the Nigeria Foundation for the Support of Victims of Terrorism also known as Victims Support Fund (VSF).
This was the sum for implementation of the VSF Foster Care Project to facilitate Protection and Shelter for 150 orphaned children in 75 households in Gombi LGA of Adamawa State.
The amount of N1,016,250.00 (One Million Sixteen Thousand Two Hundred and Fifty Naira) only was transferred to the organization in two tranches to cover administrative and operational cost.
In addition, VSF transferred a sum of N2,100,000 (Two Million One Hundred Thousand Naira) only to same organization on a Monthly basis for ten (10) Months (February 2017 to November 2017); being project cost meant for disbursement to 75 beneficiary households at N28, 000.00 each, per Month. Each beneficiary household has two (2) Foster Children, and each child is entitled to N14, 000.00 per Month to be used for the support of all children in the households. In addition, VSF transferred the sum of N50,000.00 (Fifty Thousand Naira) to the organization Monthly.
This was also done for a period of (10) Months (February 2017 to November 2017), being the Monthly stipends for disbursement to 5 social workers at N10,000.00 (Ten Thousand Naira) each per Month.
The report of incomplete payment and nonpayment to the beneficiaries and social workers for certain number of Months reached VSF in November 2017, which was further investigated by the VSF team; and confirmed by the beneficiaries and the key stakeholders to the project in the Gombi communities.
The investigation revealed that Gidado Yolde the Executive Director, through staff members like Mahmud Bello, Aisha And Umul made full payment for four (4) Months (February, March, July and November 2017), half payment for three (3) Months (April, May and June 2017) and Non-payment for 3 Months (August, September and October 2017).
The Finance Officer of CHEDA was also mentioned as being responsible for monetary activities of the organization but was conspicuously absent on the day VSF team visited the organization.
It was therefore discovered that the amount of N9, 100, 000 (Nine Million, One Hundred Thousand Naira) has been diverted by the organization through the above mentioned persons.
In his judgement, Justice Abbas convicted the five (5) accused persons complicit in the above sated case, namely Muhammed Gidado Yolde, Mahmud Hamman Bello, Atiku Hayatu, Aisha Siddiki, Ummul Aliyu. They were sentenced to Seven (7) Years behind bars each.
The enforcement of this judgement will start after 30 days from 19th May 2022, the date of the judgement. The thirty days is the period within which the convicts could exercise their rights of appeal against the judgement of the Area Court.