Court of Appeal affirms Auditor General’s 4-year jail term

On Thursday, February 22, 2024, the Court of Appeal affirmed Idris Yahaya’s conviction as the Auditor General for Local Government in Yobe State.

According to News24 Nigeria, Yahaya was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison on Monday, March 13, 2023, by Justice Muhammad Lawu Lawan of the Yobe State High Court, following a prosecution by the Maiduguri Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on a single count of criminal misappropriation totaling Nineteen Million, Nine Hundred Thousand Naira (N19, 900,000.00).

Yahaya allegedly received monies from the Office of the Auditor General for Local Government and Emirate Affairs, Yobe State, to purchase an official vehicle, a 2015 Toyota Corolla, and transferred part of the money to his own 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 Court of Appeal, Gombe division, 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.

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