WITNESS REVEALS HOW KWARA OFFICIALS FORGED 26 STUDENTS’ SIGNATURES TO STEAL THEIR BURSARIES

The trial of the former Chairperson of the Kwara State Scholarship Board, Hajia Fatimah Yusuf and two others continued Wednesday with the second prosecution witness revealing how officials of the board forged signatures of 326 students to steal bursary funds.

The two others included the Executive Secretary, Fatai Lamidi and the Accountant, Stephen Ajewole.

The Ilorin Zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had on January 15, 2020, arraigned the three officials of the board on a seven count charge over their involvement in bursary fraud to the tune of N50m.

At the resumed hearing of the case, the second prosecution witness, Abdulkareem Ismail, a former president of the National Association of Kwara state students, Sokoto state Polytechnic, alleged that only 50 students of the Sokoto state Polytechnic benefitted from Kwara state government while officials of the board claimed they paid for 336 students.

“My Lord, on that day, when the scholarship board officials arrived, it was during strike period, we did an head count, less than 200 students were on ground, the board officials disqualified many people, they said only 50 students were eligible to collect the bursary,” Ismail told the court.

“I was among the 50 persons that benefitted from the bursary, they never asked us to append our signatures, I was invited by the EFCC last year, I was shown the list of beneficiaries submitted by the board, I discovered that there were many irregularities.

“In the list shown me at the EFCC office, 326 students were paid as claimed by the scholarship board, but the list was not true reflection of what happened, only 50 students were paid,” the witness stated.

Ismail said “the list submitted to the scholarship board officials prior to the payment contained more details of students bio data but the one generated by the board was doctored.”

Justice Oyinloye discharged the witness and adjourned the case till March 23, 2020 for continuation of trial.

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