A former Commissioner representing Imo State at the National Population Commission, NPC, Joe Ndu has been arraigned before the Federal High Court, Owerri on one count charge for allegedly converting and selling a property belonging to the Federal Government for N7million.
Ndu was alleged to have Ndu obtained the sum of N7m under the false pretence that he, along with two others, have the mandate and consent of the National Population Commission to sell the Commission’s landed property located at Plot 5028 Commercial Area, New Owerri, Owerri, Imo State.
The offence, according to a statement by the head, Media and Publicity, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCCWilson Uwujiaren, was committed on or about the 29th December 2011 in contravention of section 1(1)(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and Punishable under section 1(13)of the same Act.
EFCC alleged that the said plot was allegedly allocated to the Commission to build its Owerri office by the Imo state government but by the time the Commission was ready to develop the property, it was discovered that someone had taken over the land.
A research at the Lands Registry Owerri revealed that the land had been transferred by Joe C. Ndu, the suspect via Power of Attorney dated 29th December, 2011, to one Emmanuel C. Eke.
“The sale of the property was conducted after Ndu had completed his tenure as the Federal Commissioner representing Imo State at the National Population Commission,” EFCC said.
When the charge was read to the accused, he pleaded not guilty with the prosecuting counsel Mainforce Adaka Ekwu asking the court to fix a date for trial but counsel to the accused, N. A. Nnawuchi (SAN) urged the court to grant bail to his client.
However, Justice S.M. Shuiabu asked the defence counsel to present formal bail application and remanded the accused in EFCC custody pending the hearing of the bail application scheduled to come up on October 30, 2013.