Three traders in Kaduna State were on Tuesday docked in a Kaduna Magistrate Court for allegedly selling stolen World Bank-Supported Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA) programme school bags.
The police charged Abubakar Sadiq, 42, Auwal Ibrahim and Auwal Salisu, all of Tudun Wada, with theft and receiving stolen items.
The Prosecution Counsel, Mr Wutokwe Luka, said that the bags were for distribution to primary school pupils across the state, under the World Bank-Supported Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA) programme.
In his testimony, Mr Ishaya Gandu, told Magistrate Shamsudeen Ja’afar that the case was before him for hearing.
Gandu, of the Local Government Education Authority, Zangon Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State, told the court that the fist respondent was caught selling the bag in August at Sabon Tasha.
He said that he and his brother, Mr Charles Ali, were returning from church on a Sunday when Ali noticed the bags on displayed by Sadiq for sale, but with the BESDA badge removed.
He said that they went back and asked the trader how much the bags were and where he got them, adding that Sadiq had explained that the bags go for between N1,500 and N1,700.
“My brother showed him his identification card and told him the bags were from Kaduna State Universal Basic Education Board for distribution to school children under the BESDA programme.
“He opened up and told us that someone sold the books to him at Kasuwa Barchi, adding that the bags were sold to him at N1,000 per bag.
“My brother quickly went home and brought a similar bag and showed the trader, and that was when Sadiq realized the trouble and began pleading for mercy and confessed that there are more of the bags.
“He brought the other ones and promised to identify those that sold the bags to him, after which we took him to the Police Divisional Headquarters, Sabon Tasha, where he was detained,” Gandu said.
During cross-examination, counsel to the defendants, Ms Fauziya Mohammed, asked Gandu how he knew that the bags were BESDA school bags since, according to him, the badge had been removed.
Mohammed explained that the bags could be just another random bags that might not necessarily be the BESDA bags he thought they were.
But Gandu insisted that the bags were BESDA school bags because the size of the badge were the same and it was very visible that the badges were forcefully removed.
“In fact, the first respondent confessed to us that the bags were sold to him with the badge removed,” he said.
Thereafter, the prosecuting counsel called for the adjournment of the case for the second witness to appear for further hearing and present further testimonies and evidence.
The Magistrate obliged and adjourned the case until November 28 for continued hearing.