The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Lagos Zonal office, on Monday, arraigned a former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Clement Illoh Onubuogo, before Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Lagos State High Court sitting in Igbosere, Lagos, on a 3-count charge bordering on stealing by conversion and conversion of property to the tune N14, 176,000.00.
The suspect, who was responsible for supervising numerous programmes such as the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P), allegedly awarded fictitious contracts to himself, using his personal company and friends.
One of the counts reads: “That you, Clement Illoh, a.k.a Clement & Bob Associate, on or about 28th January, 2015 at Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court whilst still a Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, dishonestly converted to your own use the sum of N14,176,000.00(Fourteen Million, One Hundred and Seventy- six Thousand Naira ) from the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency(NIMASA), and you hereby committed an offense contrary to Section 279(1)(b) & 285(6) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State No,11,2011.”
The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against him, in view of which the prosecution counsel, Nnaemeka Omewa, asked the court for a trial date and to remand the accused in prison.
However, counsel to the accused, Bolaji Ayorinde, SAN, told the court about a pending application for bail on behalf of the defendant.
Ayorinde also pleaded with the court to remand his client in the EFCC custody pending the hearing of the bail application.
Consequently, Justice Taiwo adjourned the case to October 19, 2017 for hearing of the bail application and commencement of trial.
The accused was ordered to be remanded in the EFCC custody pending the determination of his application for bail.