EFCC Arraigns Taraba State AG Over N1.56b Fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission today arraigned the Taraba State Accountant – General, Joel Joseph Lenbang, before Justice Donatus Nwabueze Okorowo of the Federal High Court Jalingo for defrauding Taraba State Government to the tune of N1.56 billion. He was docked on an 8-count charge bordering on obtaining by false pretense, offenses contrary to and punishable under the Advanced Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, 2006.

When the charges were read to him, the accused person pleaded not guilty.

The malfeasance came to light following a petition received from a concerned Taraba State indigene, sometime in February 2014, alleging massive looting of Taraba state funds. The petition triggered investigation of the lifestyle of some of the officers mentioned in the petition and who were believed to be living above their means.

The investigation uncovered systematic withdrawal of state funds through a scheme mastermind by the accountant - general of the State, Joel Lengbang. Withdrawals were allegedly made under the guise that such monies were used for sundry payments on behalf of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), as well as payment of Bank Commissions on Turn over (COT) and Value Added Tax (VAT) which became a monthly affair. A total sum of N1,567,226,557.081 (one billion, five hundred and sixty seven million, two hundred and twenty six thousand, five hundred and fifty seven naira, eighty one kobo) was discovered to have been looted from the state treasury between January 2012 and December 2013.

In view of the plea of the accused, prosecuting counsel, Al Qasim Ja’afar applied for a date to commence trial. Counsel to accused, Abayomi Akamode, however, informed the court that he had filed a motion for bail this morning and urged the court hear it. But Al Qasim told the court that he was just served the motion on notice in court and would need time to peruse and respond appropriately.

Justice Okorowo adjourned the case till July 11, 2014 for hearing of the bail application and remanded the accused in prison custody.

Wilson Uwujaren
Head, Media & Publicity
9th July, 2019


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria


  1. It is a pity. How many of these people have been brought to justice? The guy will be bailed and then the case will die quietly and quickly. Just another day in the park. Just the Nigerian way of doing things.

  2. Waste of time and money. All he needs to do now is settle those involved with the case

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