The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday arraigned ex-Senator Umaru Tafida Argungu before Justice Mohammed Mohammed of the Sokoto State High Court.
The suspect represented Kebbi North in the 6th Senate.
He was charged with one count charge of criminal misappropriation of public funds to the tune of N419, 744,612.
Argungu allegedly diverted funds paid by the Sokoto State Government between 2016 and 2017.
Sokoto entered into an agreement with the defendant to buy a 40 percent stake in his company Hijrah Investment Nigeria Limited for job creation.
EFCC investigations revealed several withdrawals and transfers from the said account to individuals not remotely connected to the objectives of turning around the company.
The company was in a state of abandonment and dilapidation when operatives visited.
Argungu’s offence was contrary to Section 311 of the Penal Code Law CAP 89, Laws of Northern Nigeria and punishable under Section 312.
The former lawmaker pleaded “not guilty” to the charge.
The prosecution counsel, S. H. Sa’ad asked the court for a date to commence trial. The defence counsel, Ibrahim Abdullahi moved a verbal motion for bail.
Justice Mohammed granted Argungu N50million bail and two sureties in like sum.
The sureties must reside and have property within the jurisdiction of the Court.
The judge further ruled that the defendant’s international passport be deposited with the court.
The case was adjourned until March 18, 2021 for commencement of trial.
Argungu, ex-Kebbi Senator in court for allegedly diverting Sokoto govt’s N419m