A former Director of Finance in the Katsina State Subsidy Reinvestment Programme, Abdullahi Shinkafi, was arraigned on Tuesday for an alleged fraud of N600m.

Shinkafi was arraigned alongside one-time Chief Store Officer in the office of Katsina State Head of Service, Bello Bindawa.

The two ex-officials were arraigned on seven counts before the Katsina State High Court.

Shinkafi, whose name appeared in five out of the seven counts, was accused of awarding a Sure-P contracts worth over N30m to a company, Tsondagi Estate Agencies, where he had interest.

According to the prosecution, the company was awarded the contract of constructing five viewing centres, each at a price of N6.937m, in five different locations in Katsina State.

Shinkafi was said to have allegedly committed the offence between June 2014 and May 2015.

The offence was said to be contrary to Section 12 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act.

Shinkafi, however, pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

Bindawa was accused of using a firm he had interest in, West Channel Ltd., for the supply of tricycles worth over N625m to SURE-P.

The first charge said that Bindawa supplied 725 units of tricycles valued at N354.4m through the company while he was accused in the second charge of using the firm to supply 110 units of tricycles valued at N271.830m to the agency.

He was said to have committed the offence between June, 2014 and May,2015.

He too pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Justice Maikaita Bako admitted the two defendants to bail in the sum of N200m each.

The judge directed them to submit their passport to the court’s registrar.

He adjourned the case till January 9, 2018 for commencement of trial.

Prior to the arraignment of the defendants, the judge had, in a ruling, dismissed an application by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, challenging the authority of the Katsina State Attorney General to prosecute the accused persons.

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