The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission has charged five directors of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs with offences of defrauding the ministry to the tune of N605m between July 2013 and October 2014.
The anti-graft agency filed 46 counts of fraud against the accused persons before Justice Husseini Baba of the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Maitama, Abuja on July 7, 2015.
The accused persons, who were at various times Directors of Finance and Deputy Directors of Finance in the Niger Delta Ministry, allegedly siphoned the money from the Constituency Project account of the ministry under fraudulent claims.
They are Yusuf Agabi (Director of Finance and Account), Akpore Okeroghene (Deputy Director of Finance), Abibu Ayinla (Director of Finance), Idowu Adewale (Deputy Director Accounts) and Ngozi James (Deputy Director Accounts).
The ICPC’s Chief Legal Officer, Paul Ahmed, who signed the charges, alleged that the accused persons fraudulently withdrew the total sum of N605m from the Constituency Project Account of the ministry without authorisation.
The prosecution alleged that the accused persons perpetrated the fraud using fictitious claims through payment vouchers containing false information.
Some of them were said to have used the proceeds to build private houses.
Justice Baba has fixed September 16 for the arraignment of the accused persons.
Some of the counts read, “That you Ayinla Abibu (m) in the month of March 2013 or thereabouts, at Abuja, being a public officer to wit: Director of Finance at the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, did receive for yourself through a Zeocat Nig Ltd., the sum of N60m belonging to the Federal Government of Nigeria, knowing same to have been obtained fraudulently from the account of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs which you used to build a house at Ogbomoso, Oyo State, for yourself and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 13 and punishable under section 68 of the Corrupt Practices Act 2000.
“That you Yusuf Mohammed Agabi, Akpore Okeroghene, Idowu Anthony Adewale and Ntu James Ngozi, between the months of January 2013 and December 2013, at Abuja being agents of the Federal Government did engage in a criminal conspiracy to present documents to your principal which were defective in material particular and designed to mislead for the purposes of fraudulently obtaining various sums of money from your principal thereby committing an offence contrary to section 26(1)(c)and punishable under section 17(1)(c)of the Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Act, 2000.”
Source: The Punch