Ma’aji Shettima Arfo, a civil servant, was sentenced to 28 years in jail by a Borno State High Court sitting in Maiduguri for indulging in a N86.1 million contract fraud.
According to Channels Television, Arfo was the General Manager of the state-owned Maiduguri Flour Mills Limited, where he perpetrated the fraud, and was sentenced to prison by Justice Haruna Mshellia of the Borno State High Court on March 3.
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) accused him with six counts of abuse of power and bestowing undue advantage on himself.
According to the charge sheet, Arfo committed various frauds between 2014 and 2020 while serving as General Manager of the Flour Mill, in violation of Parts 12 and 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000, and punishable under relevant sections of the same Act.
According to one of the charges against him, he issued repeated contracts to Falkwat Multilinks Limited, a private firm in which he was a director, to provide fuel (Automotive Gas Oil) and maize to Maiduguri Flour Mills.
While arguing the case, counsel for the ICPC, Anas Mohammed Kolo, told the court that the convict issued an N4.9 million contract to Falkwat Multilinks Limited in October 2015 to deliver 40,000 litres of fuel to the flour mills.
The court also heard how, while working as a state official, Arfo issued many contracts to his private company, Falkwat Multilinks Limited, to provide maize to Maiduguri Flour Mills Limited between 2016 and 2017.
For example, in July 2016, he authorized the payment of N42.1 million to his firm for the delivery of 386.45 metric tonnes of maize, and in March 2016, he sanctioned the payment of N23 million to the same company for the supply of 306.94 metric tonnes of maize to the state-owned flour mill.
He was found guilty of yet another crime when he authorised the payment of N16 million to Falkwat Multilinks for the supply of 217.45 metric tonnes of maize.
At the conclusion of the trial, Justice Mshellia found the general manager guilty on four of the six counts brought against him and sentenced him to seven years in jail on each count. The judge ordered that the jail sentences be served consecutively.