In Gombe, Gombe State, they were trusted enough to be made Chairman of the State Internal Revenue Service, Chief Store Officer, Chief Accountant, and Director.
They abused the trust and together connived to cream off N25 million from the revenue of the State, according to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
But they were spared the ordeal of having to cool off their heels in jail for a while after pleading guilty to the crime. However, they have six months to vomit what they stole, in addition to a fine of N100,000 each.
Atiku Mu’azu Bayum, Mohammed Adi, Ibrahim Abubakar and Abubakar Usman pleaded guilty to a two-count charge bordering on conspiracy and theft before Justice Beatrice Iliya of the Gombe State High Court, sitting in Gombe.
They were alleged to have conspired and stolen the sum ofN25,060,000 (Twenty Five Million and Sixty Thousand Naira) only, belonging to Gombe State Government.
Count two of the charge reads: “That you, Atiku Mu’azu Bayum, Mohammed Adi, Ibrahim Abubakar and Abubakar Usman sometimes between January and July 2015 at Gombe, Gombe State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent did dishonestly commit theft to wit: fraudulently convert the sum of N25,060,000 (Twenty Five Million Sixty Thousand Naira) property of Gombe State Government and thereby committed an offence contrary to and Punishable under Section 286 and 287 of the Penal Code Law, Laws of Northern Nigeria.”
Prosecuting counsel, O. Israel, urged the court to convict them accordingly.
Defence counsel, L.A. Haruna on his part pleaded on behalf of his clients for the court to temper justice with mercy as the convicts were first-time offenders and didn’t waste the “precious time” of the court and pleaded guilty on the day of their arraignment and that they had made some restitution and intended to fully restitute the whole amount.
Justice Biatrice, thereafter, pronounced them guilty and convicted them to pay fine of N100,000 (One Hundred Thousand Naira) each following the allocutus by the defence counsel.
They were also ordered to restitute the remaining amount to Gombe State Government within six months.