The Court of Appeal sitting in Gombe has on Friday upheld the sentenced of Ma’aji Shettima Arfo, the former General Manager of Maiduguri Flour Mill Ltd to seven years imprisonment for fraud involving millions of Naira belonging to the company.
In an unanimous judgement, the court found Arfo guilty of all the charges against him and held that his appeal lacked merit.
It could be recalled that a Maiduguri High Court has sentenced Arfo, a civil servant to 28 years imprisonment for engaging in an N86.1 million contract fraud.
Arfo who appealed the judgment was sentenced by Justice Haruna Mshellia of High Court 3
He was dragged to court on a six-counts charge on offences bordering on abuse of office and conferring undue advantage on himself by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
The charge sheet 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, punishable under relevant sections of the same Act.
Another count 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 and maize to Maiduguri Flour Mills.
Counsel to ICPC, Anas Mohammed Kolo had 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 Arfo, while being a public servant, awarded several contracts between 2016 and 2017 to his private company to supply maize to Maiduguri Flour Mills Limited and he authorized the payments of N42.1m to his company in July 2016 for the supply of 386.45 metric tonnes of maize and another N23m to the same company in March, 2016 to supply 306.94 metric tonnes of maize to the flour mills.
A statement by the ICPC spokesperson, Azuka Ogugua, titled, ‘N86.1m fraud: Civil servant charged by ICPC bags 28 years imprisonment,’ said he was convicted for yet another offence when he approved the payment of N16m to Falkwat Multilinks to supply 217.45 metric tonnes of maize.
The statement read, “Justice Mshellia at the end of the trial found the general manager guilty of four counts out of six preferred against him and sentenced him to seven years imprisonment on each count. The judge ruled that the prison terms will run concurrently”.