Enyioha Opara, Minna

A Niger State Chief Magistrates’ Court in Minna has ordered that three public servants in Niger State should be remanded in the prison custody for allegedly forging promotion letters and giving same out to unsuspecting civil servants in the state.

The accused – Suleman Mohammed, Mohammed Haruna and Abubakar Usman – were remanded at the Minna Old Prison, while a fourth accused, Mohammed Lapai, was said to be at large.

Northerner City News gathered that operatives of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department apprehended the accused, who allegedly gave fake notification of appointments and promotion to civil servants in the state.

All the suspects are workers of the Niger State Civil Service Commission and the state Ministry of Water Resources.

According to the police First Information Reports made available to our correspondent, one Adamu Magaji of the state Civil Service Commission and Aminu Mohammed of the office of the Head of Service of Niger State, had lodged a complaint with the Niger State Commissioner of Police about the development.

They were said to have informed the police that Magaji went to the Ministry of Education and saw a letter of transfer suspected to be forged.

“Upon enquiry, it was discovered to be fake and he proceeded to the computer centre to photocopy the said document. At the centre, one Mohammed Suleiman of the Ministry of Water Resources was seen typing a notification letter of promotion, which can only be done by the civil service commission,” the police report said.

The suspects were arraigned in court on eight counts of “criminal conspiracy, disrespect of official act, taking gratification in order to influence public servant, public servant framing incorrect document with intent to cause injury, resistance to lawful arrest, abetment, forgery, possession of forged record and causing hurt.”

But the accused pleaded not guilty to the charges while the prosecutor, Jude Akaze, told the court that police investigation was still ongoing.

He requested the court to remand them in the prison custody pending the completion of the investigation.

The presiding magistrate, Gimba Gabi, ordered that the accused should be remanded in the prison custody and adjourned the case till October 31, 2017.

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