N11.75m Fraud: Court Refuses to Strike-out Case against PSC Finance Director

Justice C.N. Oji of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court 21, Apo, has dismissed the plea by the Director of Finance, Police Service Commission (PSC), Mr. Emmanuel Ibe, to strike-out the alleged N11.75 million fraud case brought against him by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

Mr. Ibe was arraigned by ICPC before Justice Oji, on a 9-count charge that borders on fraudulent payment of N11, 750, 000 to some selected staff of PSC in March 2015, as airfare and airport taxi allowances to travel from Abuja to seven states within Nigeria on official duties even while there were no connecting flights from Abuja to any of those states.

ICPC said that the alleged offence contravenes Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000 and punishable under the same section.

The alleged offence was committed when Mr. Ibe opted to facilitate the payment of money to some staff of PSC to travel from Abuja to Bauchi, Niger, Benue, Kaduna, Kogi, Nassarawa states and the FCT, thereby violating provisions of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.

His counsel, S. M. Nwosu, while pleading the innocence of his client prayed the court to quash the charge brought against him by ICPC.

The prayer was opposed by ICPC through Mr. Paul Bassi, who argued that Section 396 (2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act empowers the court not to nullify the case.

He said, “By the provision of Section 396 (2) of the ACJA 2015, the court can only entertain this type of application alongside the substantive issues in the case.”

Justice Oji in his ruling dismissed the application on the grounds that the timing for the prayer was too early and can only be entertain at the conclusion of the prosecution’s case.