N557m Police Funds Case: ICPC Witness testifies against Ex- IGP Ehindero, Other

In the corruption trial involving a former Inspector-General of Police, Sunday Ehindero, over his alleged complicity in the mismanagement of Police money, a witness of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, Mr. Olayinka Aiyegbayo, fsi, has told the court that it was criminal for the accused to have treated public funds as his personal money.

The witness gave the testimony before Honourable Justice S.C. Oriji of the Federal Capital Territory High Court 7, sitting in Apo, Abuja, when he was being cross-examined by counsel to the Ex-IGP, Alex Iziyon, SAN. The former Police boss is standing trial alongside an Ex-Commissioner of Police in Charge of Budget at the Force headquarters, John Obaniyi, for converting the sum of N16,412,315.00  Police money to private use.

The accused persons were said to have criminally conspired to divert the said sum which was the interest generated on the sum of N557,995,065.00 released to the Police by the Bayelsa State Government and which they had placed in two fixed deposit accounts at Wema Bank and Intercontinental Bank Plc in July 2006.

The said money was appropriated and released by the Bayelsa State Government to the Police Force at the time to enable it purchase arms, ammunition and riot control equipment for proper policing of the state.

The defendants’ counsels Messrs Alex Iziyon, SAN, and S.A Odariko had argued that the principal sum was a donation whereby management could not strictly follow the guidelines for handling official money. However, the ICPC witness disagreed and insisted that the money was not a donation, but it was a release for a specific procurement of operational equipment for the Bayelsa State Police Command which must be properly accounted for.

The case has been adjourned to 11th March, 2019 for continuation of hearing.