ICPC arraigns Sokoto official for alleged N2.6m fraud
• Witness testifies in EFCC suit against the senator
• Ex-ABU officer convicted of procurement scam
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has arraigned a Sokoto State civil servant, Aminu Mega, for allegedly diverting N2.6 million belonging to the state government.
Mega, the Deputy Director (Infrastructure) of Sokoto Agriculture Development Project (SADP), is facing two counts bordering on fraudulent diversion of public fund.
ICPC, in a charge sheet filed before Justice Malami Umar of High Court 3, Sokoto, accused Mega of fraudulently converting government’s N2,626,500 meant for the construction of borehole at SADP Housing Estate in the state.
He was also accused of presenting fake receipts to the commission during the investigation to cover the fraud, thereby committing an offence contrary to Sections 16 and 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000, and punishable under the same section.
As Mega pleaded guilty to the charges, ICPC counsel, Mashkur Salisu, prayed the judge to convict him as charged.
The case was adjourned till October 26, 2020.
MEANWHILE, a prosecution witness, Kakwagh Ngunan, has narrated how Senator Bassey Albert, as Commissioner for Finance in Akwa Ibom State, allegedly received vehicles as a gift from Olajide Omokore whose companies executed over N3 billion contracts for the state government.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is prosecuting the senator for money laundering before Justice Agatha Okeke of the Federal High Court sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, said the commission’s spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren.
While being led in evidence by the prosecuting counsel, M. S. Abubakar, the witness, an operative of the EFCC, told the court that her team traced about N3 billion to the accounts of Canwod Dredging Company Limited, Bay Atlantic Limited, Sahel Engineering, Power Nigeria Limited and Network Services Nigeria Limited, all linked to Omokore.
The money was reportedly from the state government and the Inter-Ministerial Direct Labour Coordinating Committee (IMDLCC).
According to her, Omokore told the investigating team that the payments were for contracts executed for the Akwa Ibom government.
The matter was adjourned till December 7, 2020, for the continuation of the trial.
IN another development, Justice Isaq Sani of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has sentenced Mohammed Suleiman to one year for dealing in petroleum product without a requisite licence.
ALSO, the Kaduna Zonal Office of EFCC yesterday secured the conviction of Danjuma Musa before Justice Peter Mallong of the Federal High Court sitting in Kaduna for procurement fraud.
The charge read in part: “That you, Danjuma Musa (while being a Procurement Officer of Ahmadu Bello University) sometime in 2016 at Zaria, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, colluded with Gboye Surgical Equipment to inflate the prices tendered for the supply of drugs and laboratory reagents, contracts awarded by Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, which would not have been the case had there not been collusion between you and Gboye Surgical Equipment, and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 58(4)(a) of the Public Procurement Act, 2007, and punishable under Section 58(6)(a) and (b) of the same act.”
When the charge was read to him, the defendant pleaded guilty, and Justice Mallong consequently convicted and fined him an equivalent of 25 per cent of the value of the procurement in issue, amounting to N686,540.43. He was also barred from all public procurements for at least five calendar years.
The convict had already paid N1,668,770 as restitution to the complainant.