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ICPC arraigns UNICAL don for alleged N20.6m fraud

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University of Calabar

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has charged the Dean and Director of Pre-Degree Programme of the University of Calabar (UNICAL), Prof. Francisca Ime Bassey, to court over her alleged involvement in N20.6 million contract scam.

EFCC arraigned Bassey at the Cross River State High Court 6, Calabar, for allegedly holding private interests in several contracts awarded to four companies in which she has substantial interests.

In a 10-count charge filed before Justice Elias Abua, the commission said the alleged crime happened between 2013 and 2017, in violation of Section 12 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.

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A statement issued by ICPC spokesperson, Mrs. Azuka Ogugua, the charge sheet revealed that Bassey benefited from contracts amounting to N20.679m awarded to Bakuf Ventures, Rivet Investment Nigeria Limited, Joebas Enterprises and Arumo Nigeria Limited.

It was found that contracts amounting to N7. 8 million were allegedly awarded to Bakuf Ventures in four tranches between 2013 and 2017, while other contracts worth N4.7 million were awarded to Rivet Investment Nigeria Limited between 2013 and 2015.

“The Dean further used two of her companies, Joebas Enterprises and Arumo Nigeria Limited to commit multiple contract fraud. She allegedly benefitted from N5. 7 million contracts awarded to Arumo Nigeria Limited and N2.4 million awarded to Joebas Enterprises within the same period,” the statement reads.

Ogugua added that the accused entered a not-guilty plea when the charge was read to her, as her counsel, Joseph Oloku, filed a bail application asking the court to admit her to bail on self-recognition.

But counsel to ICPC, Kioba Kio Anabraba, who prayed the court to grant her bail on terms that would make her attend her trials, opposed the bail.

The trial judge granted her bail in N5 million with one surety in the like sum, insisting that the surety must have landed property within the court’s jurisdiction and adjourned the matter to October 11 and 12, 2021 for trial.

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