Three executives of the Printing Workers Association of Nigeria, Gombe State Branch, Joe Dantata (Chairman 2008 to 2014), Raymond Mela (Chairman 2014 to 2021) and Kabiru Abdullahi (Secretary 2008- 2021) were arraigned on Wednesday for charges bordering on conspiracy and fraud.
This was announced by the
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Thursday in a statement on Thursday, stating that the suspects were arraigned by its Gombe Zonal Command.
Dantata, Mela, and Abdullahi appeared before Justice Halima Mohammed of Gombe State High Court on a 24-count charge bordering on conspiracy, abuse of office and criminal misappropriation.
According to the statement, the defendants allegedly converted funds deducted from the salary of union members to personal use.
Investigations by EFCC revealed that Dantata, Raymond and Abdullahi converted the sums of N1, 823,700, N708, 000 and N4, 396,000 respectively from the union’s account to their personal use.
One of the charge read, “That you, Joe Dantata between January and December 2008 at Gombe, Gombe State within the Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court while entrusted with the sum of N1, 823, 700.00 (One Million, Eight Hundred and Twenty-Three Thousand, Seven Hundred Naira) property of Nigerian Union of Printing Publishing Paper Product Works, Gombe State Chapter did dishonestly convert the said sum to your own use and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 308 and Section 309 of the Penal Code Law of Northern Nigeria respectively”.
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges, which prompted the prosecution counsel, M. O. Tijani to apply for a date for trial.
Justice Mohammed adjourned the matter till November 18, 2021 for hearing and ordered that the defendants be remanded in the Correctional Centre.