Umaru Tafida Argungu, a former senator, has been arraigned in court for criminal misappropriation of public funds to the tune of N419,744,612.30.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday, March 1, 2021 accused the former representative of Kebbi North Senatorial District of duping the Sokoto State government in an investment scheme.

During his arraignment before the Sokoto State High Court, the anti-graft agency said the Sokoto government entered into an agreement with the accused to buy a 40% stake in his company, Hijrah Investment Nigeria Limited, in order to create jobs.

Argungu was accused of diverting the government's N419 million to accounts of individuals not connected to the objectives of turning around the company.

"A visit to the company premises by investigators showed a company in severe state of abandonment and dilapidation," EFCC said.

In the one count charge of misappropriation, prosecutors accused the former lawmaker of criminal breach of trust contrary to Section 311 of the Penal Code Law CAP 89, Laws of Northern Nigeria.

Argungu pleaded not guilty to the charge, and was granted bail in the sum of N50 million and two sureties in like sum.

Justice Mohammed Mohammed also ruled that the defendant should deposit his passport to the court, and fixed March 18 for commencement of trial.