Court Of Appeal Upholds Jail Terms Of Yobe Auditor General

The Gombe Division of the Court of Appeal, on Thursday, February 22, 2024 upheld the conviction of Alhaji Idris Yahaya, Auditor General for Local Government, Yobe State.

He was convicted and sentenced to five years imprisonment on Monday, March 13, 2023 by Justice Muhammad Lawu Lawan of the Yobe State High Court, after being prosecuted by the Maiduguri Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on a one count of criminal misappropriation   to the tune of Nineteen Million, Nine Hundred Thousand Naira (N19, 900,000.00).

Yahaya received funds from the Office of the Auditor General for Local Government and Emirate Affairs, Yobe State, for the purchase of an official vehicle, a 2015 Toyota Corolla, and diverted part of the money to his personal use.

The  lone count reads: ”That you, Yahaya Lawal Idris, being the Auditor General for Local Government, Yobe State, between the 20th to 21st day of May, 2017 at Damaturu, Yobe State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, received the sum of N19,900,000.00 via your personal account number 1001480930 with account name Alhaji Yahaya Idris domiciled in United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA) from the Local Government Audit Account Number 5030030060 domiciled in Fidelity Bank Plc for the purchase of a brand new Toyota Corolla 2015 Model, did dishonestly misappropriated the gross sum of N10,100,000.00 (Ten Million, One Hundred Thousand Naira) only.”

However, dissatisfied with the judgment, Yahaya approached the appellate court, where he raised  five grounds of appeal and prayed the court to set aside the judgment of Justice Lawan.

While arguing against the appeal, counsel to the EFCC, Mukhtar Ali prayed the court to uphold the judgment of the lower court and dismiss the appeal on the grounds that “the prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubts”.

Delivering judgment on Thursday, the three-man panel led by Hon. Justice A.A B Gumel, upheld the conviction of  Yahaya and unanimously dismissed the appeal and consequently affirmed the judgment of the trial court.