By Titus Atondu, Makurdi
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC (EFCC), Makurdi Zonal Office on Monday February 24, 2020, arraigned one Elizabeth Akaa a staff of Guma local government area before Justice M. A. Ikpambese of the Benue State High Court sitting in Makurdi, on a one-count charge bordering on breach of trust, dishonesty and misappropriation to the tune of nine million naira belonging to the Nigerian Union of Local Government Employee, (NULGE) Guma Chapter.
In a press release signed by the head Public Affairs EFCC Makurdi zonal office Nwanyinma Okeanu and made available to Nigerian NewsDirect read the charge as follows ;
“That you, Elizabeth Akaa between 2016 and 2018 being entrusted with N27, 097,00 (Twenty Seven Million and Ninety Seven Thousand Naira) as the Chairman of Nigeria Union of Local Government Employee, (NULGE),Guma Chapter within the jurisdiction of this honourable Court did commit Breach of Trust by dishonestly misappropriating a sum of Nine Million Naira and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 313 of the Penal Code Law of Benue (CAP)124 (Revised Edition) Laws of Benue State 2004″.
She pleaded “not guilty” to the charge.
Based on her plea, prosecuting counsel, G. G. Chia-Yakua requested for a trial date, and asked the Court to remand her in correctional centre.
However, counsel to defendant, Otache Bako who was ready with a motion for bail urged the Court to grant her bail on most liberal terms.
Justice Ikpambese granted bail to the defendant in the sum of N500,000,000.00 (Five Hundred Million Naira) with one surety in like sum.
The surety must be resident and have a landed property within the jurisdiction of the Court and must show evidence of such. Or a civil servant not below GL 10 with letter of appointment and must deposit one passport photograph with the Court.
The defendant was remanded in a correctional centre pending the perfection of her bail condition, and the case was adjourned till March 25, 2020 for trial.
Trouble started for Mrs Elizabeth Akaa, as a chairman, National Union of Local Government (NULGE) Guma LGA, when the EFCC received a petition dated 25th April, 2019 by concerned staff of Guma local government area, Gbanjiba, Benue State, alleging that she diverted monies belonging to decased staff to her daughter’s account.
That, Akaa was a signatory to NULGE Guma branch account but instead of operating this account for official transactions, prefers using her company’s account.
She has been signing payment vouchers and receiving cash deductions from staff salary which is supposed to be remitted to deceased staff family members as part of compensation for the loss of their members.