How ex-Kwara Scholarship Board embezzled students’ bursary- Witness

EFCC operatives

The trial of Fatimoh Yusuf, the immediate past Chairperson, Kwara State Scholarship Board; Fatai Lamidi, Secretary of the Board, and Stephen Ajewole, the board’s Accountant, who are being prosecuted by the Ilorin Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for allegedly diverting N50million meant for payment of 2018 students’ bursary, commenced on March 4, 2020 with the EFCC presenting its first witness.

The defendants were arraigned on January 15, 2020 before Justice Sikiru Oyinloye of a Kwara State High Court, Ilorin, on a seven-count charge for their alleged involvements in bursary fraud; but they pleaded “not guilty”.

At the resumed hearing, March 4, 2020, the witness, Isiaka Adeshina, an executive member of the National Association of Kwara State Students, said the board’s officials listed his name as one of the beneficiaries of the 2018 bursary award at the University of Ilorin, but he never received any money.

While being led in evidence by prosecuting counsel, O.B. Akinsola, he narrated how he was shortlisted as number 725 on the list of beneficiaries of the 2018 bursary award released by the Kwara State Government.

He said: “Each student was entitled to the sum of N5,000, but to my surprise, when I was invited by the EFCC, they confronted me with some documents especially the payment vouchers.

“I found my name among those that have been paid; they signed against my name as a beneficiary, but the signature is not mine, my signature was forged.

“When they started the payment, they did not pay up to 350 students.

“They told us they were going for Jumat Prayer, but when they came back they said the money had finished.”

Further hearing in the case has been adjourned until March 11, 2020 for continuation of trial.