EFCC Arraigns Gombe Govt Official For Obstructing, Destroying Investigation Materials

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s Gombe Zone Directorate has charged Usman Mallam, a desk officer at the Gombe State Secretary to the State Government’s office, with hindering the investigation and tearing official papers.

Mallam, was charged with “willful obstruction of investigation activities and tearing official documents of the EFCC” in a statement issued on Friday on its X account.

According to the anti-graft agency, the officer was charged on June 11 before TG Ringim, a federal high court judge in Gombe.

“The lone charge against Mallam reads “that you, Usman Mallam on or about the 26th day of February 2024 at Gombe, Gombe State within the jurisdiction of this honourable court while the officers of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC were carrying out an investigation activity involving an alleged economic and financial crime, did willfully obstruct the said investigation by tearing the EFCC formal letters of investigation activities dated January 1, 2024, and February 21, 2024, respectively” and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 38 (1) and punishable under Section 38 (2) (a) and (b) of the Economic and financial Crimes Commission Establishment Act”.

Mallam pled not guilty to the charges. As a result, the judge granted the defendant N10 million bail, along with one surety in the same amount.

The judge stated that the surety must be a director in a government agency or a private corporation with a capital of at least N10 million.

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“Upon arraignment, the defendant pleaded not guilty to the one count charge, prompting the prosecution counsel AM Labaran to say, “My Lord, the defendant has put himself to trial hence we shall be asking for a date for trial”. However, counsel to the defendant, SS Usman said, “My Lord, we have a bail application dated July 11, 2024, we are asking the court to exercise its discretion and grant the defendant bail”

“Justice Ringim thereafter granted the defendant bail in the sum of N10,000,000.00 (Ten Million Naira) and one surety in like sum. The surety shall be a director in a government establishment or a private company with a capital worth not less than N10,000,000.

“In addition to the conditions, the Registrar of the court should verify the identity of the surety and both the surety and the defendant shall submit two passport photographs to the court.

“Justice Ringim remanded the defendant in Gombe State Correctional Service pending the fulfilment of the bail conditions and adjourned the case to July 9, 2024, for trial.”