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Accountant arraigned over missing N45m school feeding fraud

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Justice Ekwo ruled that Inabo could only be allowed to continue to enjoy the earlier bail if he deposits his current international passport with the court.

An Account Director with the Federal Ministry of Education, Matthew Inabo has been re-arraigned before a Federal High Court in Abuja for his alleged involvement in diverting about N45million part of funds meant for the Federal Government’s Home Grown School Feeding and Health Programme (HGSFHP).

Inabo pleaded not guilty when a 24-count amended charge, dated October 12, 2020, filed by Aminu Alilu on behalf of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) was read to him on Wednesday.

He was alleged to have fraudulently altered cheques and made false representations to defraud the government through the HGSFHP of the Federal Ministry of Education.

Inabo was said to have committed the allege offences while he served as the Head of Accounts Section of the HGSFHP in 2007.

Part of the charge reads: “That you Matthew lnabo of No. 35 Road, House 12 Gwarimpa on or about the 4th of April 2007 at the Federal Ministry of Education, Abuja, being the Head of Accounts Section of the Home Grown School Feeding and Health Programme (HGSFHP) of the Federal Ministry of Education, Abuja did commit an offence to wit: you fraudulently altered an Oceanic Bank (now EcoBank) cheque No: 05477466 originally signed for N422, 270 (by inserting N16,000,000 before the said figure to make it N16,422,270 and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(2) (a) of Miscellaneous Offence Act Cap M l7 Laws of the Federation 2004 and punishable under the name section of the Act.

“That you Matthew Inabo of No. 35 Road, House 12 Gwarimpa on or about the 6th of June, 2007 at the Federal Ministry of Education, Abuja did commit an offence to wit: you knowingly made false representation with intent to defraud the Federal Government by causing the payment to yourself of the sum of N8,000,000 which you inserted in Oceanic Bank (now EcoBank) cheque No: 05477474 and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(2) (b) of Miscellaneous Offence Act Cap M17 Laws of the Federation 2004 and punishable under the same section of the Act.

“That you Matthew Inabo of No. 35 Road, House 12 Gwarimpa on or about the 6th of June, 2007 at the Federal Ministry of Education, Abuja did make a forged document to wit: a Retirement of Personal Advance of N2,092,500 in the name of Dr (Mrs) Lami Amodu knowing it to be false and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 1(2) (C) of Miscellaneous Offence Act Cap M17 Laws of the Federation 2004.

Although the lead prosecution lawyer, Alilu applied that the defendant be remanded pending the conclusion of trial, Justice Inyang Ekwo acceded to the request by defence lawyer, Abiodun Olusanya that Inabo remain on the bail earlier granted him.

Justice Ekwo ruled that Inabo could only be allowed to continue to enjoy the earlier bail if he deposits his current international passport with the court.

The judge adjourned till December 7 for commencement of trial.

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