The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has arraigned the former governorship candidate of Nasarawa State in the 2015 election, Mr. Yusuf Mohammed Agabi for defrauding the Federal Government of N666.08 million.
Agabi was charged before Justice A.O Adeniyi of the Federal High Court 20, Apo, Abuja, by ICPC, alongside four others on a 46-count charge for allegedly embezzling N666.08m from the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.
The four accused persons docked by ICPC were Akpore Okeroghene, Abibu Ayinla, Idowu Anthony Adewale and Ntu James Ngozi.
The Commission’s counsel, Mr. Paul Bassi alleged before the court that the accused persons fraudulently shared N666.08m belonging to the Federal Government while working in the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs between 4th of December, 2013 and December, 2014 thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 13 and punishable under section 68 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.
Bassi told the court that Agabi, who was Director of Finance at the Ministry, on various occasions, fraudulently received the total sum of N453.85 million from the accounts of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs through one Kabiru Paloma.
The ICPC counsel further told the court that Akpore, while acting as a Deputy Director in the same Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs fraudulently received N33 million from the ministry’s account through one Solomon Sunday Tom.
He averred before the court that Ayinla who was Director of Finance of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs fraudulently received N151 million through a company, Jokings Nigeria Limited, from the same ministry.
Bassi further alleged that the two other accused persons; Adewale and Ngozi, who were both Deputy Directors of Accounts in the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, fraudulently received $100, 000 and N12.2 million respectively from the ministry through one Solomon Sunday Tom.
Agabi and all the accused persons pleaded not guilty to the 46-count charge read to them by the trial judge, Justice Adeniyi.
Mr. Efe Daniel standing for one of the accused pleaded with the court to grant them bail telling the court that his client would also be available for trial. His plea for bail was agreed upon by other defence counsel.
Hon. Adeniyi in his ruling, granted the accused persons bail on the following conditions: bail at N10 million each, a surety for each not below the level of a Deputy Director in the public service, who must be resident in Abuja. The Judge also directed the accused persons to submit their International passports to the court registrar.
He adjourned the case to 1st, 2nd and 3rd March, 2016 for commencement of hearing.