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Published On: Thu, Sep 26th, 2019

Alleged N195n scam: Benue ex-SIP boss arraigned

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From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi

Former Benue State Focal person, Social Investment Programme, Comrade Terhide Utaan was yesterday arraigned before the State High Court on charges of diversion of over 195 million naira meant for the programme for his personal use.
Utaan was arraigned and docked on seven (7) count charges which stated thus, that he and Suakor Nicholas, (accountant) sometime between 23/11/2016 and 19/04/2018 at the offices of the Benue State Social Investment Programme, Makurdi within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did agree to do an illegal act to wit, convert or divert funds meant for use of the Benue State Social Investment Programme to personal use and same act was done in pursuance of the agreement, and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 97 of the Penal Code Law of Benue
“That you Conrad Terhide Utaan and Suakor Nicholas being public servants and entrusted with the sum of N370,000,000.00 meant for purchase of cooking utensils for food vendors under the Homegrown School Feeding Programme, between 20/04/2017 and 23/05/2017 at Makurdi, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did convert the total sum of N12.794,000.00 to personal use, and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 316 of the Penal Code Law of Benue State.
“That you Conrad Terhide Utaan and Suakor Nicholas being public servants and entrusted with the sum of N370,000,000.00 meant for purchase of cooking utensils for food vendors under the Homegrown School Feeding Programme, between 20/04/2017 and 23/05/2017 at Makurdi, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did dishonestly divert funds amounting to N5,000,000.00 to another expenditure outside the purpose for which the funds were intended, by paying same to Shamsy Furnitures Nigeria Limited via NIP Transfer from BSSIP Sterling Bank Account No. 0061392253 to Zenith Bank Account No. 1014049557, and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 310 of the Penal Code Law of Benue State.
“That you Conrad Terhide Utaan and Suakor Nicholas, public servants with the Benue State Social Investment Program, and entrusted with dominion over deductions from Food Vendors in Benue State amounting to N113, 348, 436.18 meant for loan repayment and to be remitted into Benue State Government Account designated for that purpose, sometimes between 30/10/2017 and 27/03/2018 caused the said deductions to be diverted into SIP Accounts No. 0067386995 & 0061392253 (with Sterling Bank), 5085940013 -FCMB and 4703063259= Ecobank, to which you were co= signatories, from which accounts you withdrew the total sum of N94,380,900.00 for personal use, thereby committed an offence punishable under section 316 of the Penal Code Law of Benue State.
“That you Conrad Terhide Utaan and Suakor Nicholas, entrusted with funds meant for the benefit of food vendors in Benue State, as officers of Benue State Social Investment Program, from 13/11/2017 to 10/11/2017 did cause illegal deductions to be made to such funds amounting to N37,121,188.78, and credited to Benue State Social Investment Programme account number 0061392253 with Sterling Bank to which you were signatories, and from which account you withdrew the sum of N37,121, 188.78 for personal use, and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 316 of the Penal Code Law of Benue State.
“That you Conrad Terhide Utaan and Suakor Nicholas sometimes from 27/10/2017 to 17/04/2018 in Makurdi, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did make illegal withdrawals from BSSIP Accounts No. 0061392253 and 0067386995 with Sterling Bank amounting to a total of N23,110,761.10 for personal use, without any authorization and failed to give account of such expenditures, thereby committed an offence punishable under section 290 of the Penal Code Law of Benue State.
“That you Conrad Terhide Utaan and Suakor Nicholas sometimes on or about 23/11/2016, 15/12/2016, 20/12/2016 or 06/03/2017, at Makurdi within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, forged or caused to be forged receipts, invoices and payment lists.
During the proceeding, no plea was taken for want of Jurisdiction even as the second accused Suakor Nicholas was absent.
The Presiding Judge, Justice Theresa Igoche granted bail to the accused Utaan on condition that his counsel Innocent Dagba must bring him to court on Thursday 26 September, 2019 for further hearing of the matter.

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