A former official of the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation, Melah O. Agabus, has been docked before Hon. Justice Maryann E. Anenih of the FCT High Court 12 sitting in Maitama by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, for defrauding 2 job-seekers.
Agabus, who was dismissed from service in 2009, was alleged to have fraudulently collected monies amounting to the sum of ₦2,500,000.00 (Two Million, Five Hundred Thousand Naira) from one Polycarp Onwubuya and Okwanuzor Enebeli for the purpose of securing employment for them with the Nigeria Immigration Service and Nigeria Communications Commission respectively.
In a 12-count charge filed by ICPC, counsel to the Commission, Mr. Idoko Denise, averred that the offences were contrary to Section 320 and were punishable under Section 322 of the Penal Code Law Cap.89.
The accused was further alleged to have, at one time, forged an Authorization Letter, using the letter-headed paper of the Auditor-General of the Federation and the forged signature of the then Auditor-General of the Federation, Mr. O.R. Ejenavi, and used it to carry out an unauthorised audit of the Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Aro, Abeokuta.
The offence contravenes Section 363 and is punishable under Section 364 of the Penal Code Law Cap.89.
Agabus was also alleged to have collected the sum of ₦874,000 (Eight Hundred and Seventy Four Thousand Naira) from the Chief Medical Director of the psychiatric hospital while carrying out the illegal audit, an offence that contravenes Section 366 and is punishable under Section 364 of the Penal Code Law Cap.89.
Agabus pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against him. His counsel, Mr. C.O. Ogar, asked the court to grant his client bail. The trial judge, after listening to the submission of both counsel granted the accused person bail in the sum of ₦2m, and a surety in like sum who must be a “responsible citizen” of Nigeria and resident within its jurisdiction. The surety must also submit 2 passport-size photographs, international passport or driver’s licence, and the title document of a landed property in Abuja.
Justice Anenih thereafter adjourned the case to 19th July, 2017 for commencement of hearing.