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News: Witness Reveals How Prison’s Comptroller Collected N2.8m from Applicants

Prosecution witness in the trial of Abubakar Mohammed Sani, a Deputy Comptroller in the Nigerian Correctional Service, NCoS, detailed how the Correctional Officer obtained money from unsuspecting job seekers under the guise of giving them jobs in the Correctional Service.

Sani was arraigned by the Commission on the 9th of December, 2021 before Justice Hadiza Sabi’u Shagari of the Federal High Court Katsina for allegedly using his position as an officer of the Katsina Command of the Nigerian Prisons Service (as it then was) and obtained a total sum of N2,850,000 (Two Million Eight Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira ) from some persons on the pretext of helping them secure employment into the Service.

The witness, Ashafa Abubakar Aliyu in his evidence disclosed that sometime in 2012 the defendant who was his colleague in the then Nigerian Prison Service contacted him and asked him to find candidates who are looking for employment. He further revealed that the defendant being the Works Officer at the Headquarters of the NCoS, it was easy to believe that he had the capacity to secure job offers into the Service.

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“The defendant told me that there was vacancy in the then Nigerian Prison Service and because we did basic course together in Kaduna and he used to lead us in prayers, I agreed to provide candidates

“He convinced me to pay for the job for my relations, Umar Himma, Surajo Ibrahim, Abdullahi Gambo and others whom I could not remember their names.”

The witness also revealed that he called the defendant and put him on speaker phone to the hearing of the applicants. And the defendant told them that, each of them must pay N300, 000 (Three Hundred Thousand Naira Only) if they wanted the job.

The applicants, according to the witness, raised monies totaling over N2, 000,000 (Two Million Naira) and he (the witness) paid same into the account of the defendant. Since then, the defendant neither provided the jobs nor refund the money he collected.

After concluding his examination -in –chief, the defense counsel Dr Salisu Malami applied for adjournment to enable him prepare for cross examination of the witness.

Justice Shagari adjourned the matter till February 3rd and 4th for continuation of trial.

Pelumi Emmanuel

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