From Umar Dankano,Yola.
The former Executive Secretary of the Adamawa State Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, Bishop Jinga Mayo have been sentenced to five years imprisonment by a Yola high court over diversion of funds meant for pilgrimage.
Presided over by Justice Nathan Musa in Yola, ,the court yesterday ruled that Bishop Mayo who has been standing trial for almost two years will serve the jail term of five years without option of fine as he is to serve another term of six months with option of fine of N50.000
The court held that Bishop Mayo will be serving the terms concurrently for diverting whopping sum of N69.189million out of the N346.8 million released to the board under his watch by the former Governor Muhammadu Umaru Jibrilla Bindow’s administration for 2016 Christians pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
It could be recalled that some aggrieved pilgrims,who were not paid their Basic Traveling Allowances (BTA) after performing their religious rite petitioned to Independent Corrupt Practices and Related Offences Commission, ICPC accusing Bishop Mayo of diverting the money for personal use.
The ICPC after its investigation charged him to the High Court Yola on three count charges including; Making false return in respect of finances, conferring of corrupt advantage upon himself and making false statements to the officer of the ICPC.
Bishop Mayo initially told the court that he had used the money in sponsoring Agricultural Training programme organised for the Christian pilgrims in Israel but couldn’t tender any evidence to that regard.
According to Justice Musa, the court handed down its judgement based on count two and three charges while discharging and acquitting him on court charge one respectively.
Our correspondent in Yola reports that the controversial funds diversion suit against Bishop Mayo has been put to rest by Justice Nathan Musa of High court 1 Yola which was filed by Independent Corrupt Practices and Related Offences Commission, ICPC as the same suit was filed in the High Court 4 Yola of Justice Abdulaziz Waziri by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.