Five directors of the Ministry of Niger-Delta Affairs, have been arraigned before Justice Baba Yusuf of the Federal High Court 4 sitting in Maitama, Abuja for allegedly defrauding the Ministry of N655 million and $100,000.
The officials arraigned were Mr. Yusuf M. Agabi, former Director of Finance, Mr. Akpore Okeroghene, Deputy Director of Finance; Mr. Ayinla Abibu, Director of Finance; Mr. Idowu A. Adewale, Deputy Director of Accounts and Mrs. Ntu J. Ngozi, also a Deputy Director of Accounts, on charges of conspiracy, fraud and forgery.
The accused persons were arraigned by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) on allegations of fraudulently obtaining the sums of N655 million and $100,000 between December 2013 and December 2014 from the Ministry’s account.
In the charges preferred against the accused persons, the ICPC counsel Mr. Paul Bassi had a 22-count charge against Mr. Agabi who was specifically accused of defrauding the Ministry of N458 million.
The second accused person, Mr. Akpore, was arraigned on a 5-count charge of fraudulently obtaining a total sum of N33 million, while Mr. Ayinla was docked on a 10-count charge of fraud totaling N147.5 million.
The fourth and fifth accused persons, Mr. Adewale and Mrs. Ntu were also arraigned on allegations of fraudulently obtaining the sums of $100, 000 and N19 million respectively from the Ministry’s account.
All offences are in contravention of Section 13 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000 and punishable under Section 68 of the same Act.
All the accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charges and were granted bail by the Court in the sum of N10 million each and on the condition that they produce sureties who are not less than Deputy Directors in the Federal Civil Service and resident in Abuja.
Furthermore, they were ordered to submit their international passports to the Court Registrar as part of the bail conditions.
The case was adjourned to October 7, 2015 for continuation of trial.