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A former Vice Chancellor of Federal University Gusau, Prof. Magaji Garba, has been sentenced to 35 years jail term for obtaining money by false pretence and forgery .
Justice Maryam Hassan Aliyu of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Garki, Abuja, on Thursday, convicted him after he was found guilty of a five-count charge.
The ex-Vice Chancellor was arraigned by the EFCC on October 12, 2021, for allegedly extorting various sums from a contractor on the pretext of awarding him a N3 billion contract for the perimeter wall fencing of the university.
Garba was accused of collecting N260 million bribe from the contractors.
During the trial, an investigating officer with the EFCC, Inspector Mathias Hamawa, who was part of the team that investigated the case, informed the court that sometime in 2018, the defendant promised to award the complainant, a parameter wall fencing contract of Federal University, Gusau in the sum N3 billion, and demanded N260 million from the complainant through a third party, Engr. Aliyu Burka, a procurement officer of the university.
The witness further told the court that the dollar equivalent of N260 million was given to the defendant.
“At that time my lord, no contract of any nature was given to Ministaco Nigeria Limited. Realizing that the tenure of the VC would elapse by February 2021 and there was still no sign of any contract coming through, the complainant, Alhaji Shehu Umar Sambo petitioned the EFCC,” he said.
Prof Magaji Garba, ex-Vice Chancellor, Federal University Gusau
Upon receiving the petition, he said the EFCC swung into action by contacting the university, Federal Ministry of Education, and Tertiary Education Trust Fund to determine whether they were aware of the purported contract.
All responded, denying knowledge of the said contract.
The letters written to the various institutions of government were tendered in evidence and admitted as exhibit 6a, 6b, and 6c.
While cross examining the witness, the defence counsel, S.M Imam sought to know how much the EFCC recovered from the defendant. “I can’t really remember, but it is around N130 million,” the witness said.
At the end of the cross examination, the prosecuting counsel, Sylvanus Tahir, informed the court of his intention not to call any more witnesses.
The defence on their other hand, indicated its intention to move a no case submission, arguing that the prosecution has failed to establish the ingredient of the offence to warrant his client opening his defence.
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