He allegedly sold and appropriated some properties, which are under interim forfeiture to the Federal Government.
A former commissioner of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs in Adamawa state, John Elias, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for defrauding Adamawa State government of the sum of N51.5 million while in office.
Justice Bilkisu Bello Aliyu found Elias guilty of the four count charges of fraud brought against him by the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). He was arraigned on October 22, 2015.
The ex-commissioner was prosecuted, along with his three companies - Oil Trust Limited, AL-Akim Investment Nigeria Limited and Da’ama Specialist Hospital, for conspiracy and unlawful dealing in forfeited property.
He allegedly sold and appropriated some properties, which were under interim forfeiture to the Federal Government.
An evaluation exercise conducted by the EFCC on the forfeited properties revealed that the accused person sold a landed property situated at Galadima Aminu Way, Yola to one Hamid Yusuf for N20,000,000.00 (Twenty Million Naira) through his agent, Jibril Mairiga.
He also allegedly gave another property on Atiku Abubakar Way, Yola, Adamawa State, to his brother, Dr. Joel Yohanna, for use as a private hospital.
One of the charges read: “That you, Al-kim Investment Nigeria Limited and John Babani Elias (M), sometimes in February, 2011 at Jimeta-Yola, Adamawa State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court and without due authorization by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission dealt with, having put tenants and collecting rents in and over the property known as four unit houses behind First Bank of Nigeria Plc. Jimeta, Yola and which property is a subject of an interim order of forfeiture issued on the 13th day of December, 2005 by the Federal High Court, Lagos in charge No. FHC/L/CS/1258/2005, contrary to and punishable under section 32(1) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act 2004”.
In her judgement, Justice Aliyu said, "I hereby sentenced the first convict, John Babani Elias to 10 years imprisonment on count 3 and another 10 years imprisonment on count 4 but the two sentences will run concurrently," Justice Bilkisu Aliyu ruled.
"In addition, the first convict must return/refund the sum of N51.5 million to Adamawa state local Government joint account fund from where it was stolen and diverted by him and his company".
The judge also ordered the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) to shut down Al-Akim Investment Limited and have its assets forfeited to the federal government of Nigeria.