EFCC arraigns BPE ex-boss over alleged N1 billion bribe
A former Director General of Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Benjamin Ezra Dikki, was yesterday arraigned before Justice Yusuf Halilu of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Abuja on four counts bordering on alleged corruption and abuse of office.
Dikki, who was docked alongside his company, Kebna Studios & Communications Limited, allegedly received about N1billion as gratification from Bestworth Insurance Brokers for his role in facilitating approval of outstanding insurance premiums and claims of deceased and incapacitated staff of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).
Count one of the charge reads that Dikki, while being the DG of BPE and also the Managing Director of Kebna Studios & Communications Limited, around January 30, 2015, in Abuja, corruptly accepted as reward N250 million through Kebna Studios & Communications Limited’s Skye Bank Account No.1771649525 from Bestworth Insurance Brokers Limited for facilitating approval of outstanding insurance premiums and claims of deceased and incapacitated staff of PHCN, thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 17(1)(a) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences ACT, 2000 and punishable under Section (17)(c) of the same Act.
The defendants pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to them.
Sequel to their plea, counsel to the prosecuting Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Benjamin Menji, asked the court for a date to commence trial and to remand the defendant at a Correctional Service facility.
“We shall be asking for a date to enable us assemble our witnesses and to prove the entire counts against the defendants and we shall urge the court to remand the first defendant in a correctional facility pending commencement of his trial,” he said.
Counsel for the first defendant, Abdul Muhammed, urged the court to grant his client bail, citing Section 158, 162 and 163 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act. But Menji opposed the oral bail application, arguing that the defendant should file his application formally to enable the prosecution respond accordingly.
Justice Halilu remanded the defendant in Suleja Correctional Centre and adjourned till March 3, for consideration of bail application.