Former PDP guber candidate, Agabi ‘flees’ ICPC arraignment over fraud in Ministry of Niger Delta

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Yusuf Agabi, a former governorship aspirant in Nassarawa State under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and Ntu Ngozi escaped arraignment before Justice Husseini Baba of the Federal Capital Territory, High Court 4.

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences
Commission (ICPC), having secured a leave to arraign Agabi and four others for fraudulently obtaining the sum of N605 million from the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, preffered a 46 count charge against the accussed persons.

Agabi could not produce himself in court Thursday as he was said to have travelled for the lesser hajj after being served summons by the ICPC prosecuting counsel Paul Bassi. While the fifth accused was also said to have travelled to her village.

As such, the prosecuting counsel sought the court for a short
adjournment for the accussed persons to be produced in court for their arraignment.

Rotimi Ojo, counsel to the second, third and fourth accussed persons who were present in court did not object to the relief sought by the prosecution, he rather urged the court to allow the accussed persons continue to enjoy the administrative bail granted them by ICPC till they are arraigned.

Justice Baba, the trial judge subsequently granted the prayers as sought and adjourned the matter to September 16 2015 for arraignment of the accused persons.

Yusuf Agabi in the charge sheet, while being a public officer as a Director of Finance at the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, was alleged to have received for himself the sum of N100 million belonging to the Federal Government of Nigeria from one Kabiru Paloma, knowing same to have been obtained fraudulently from the bank account of the Ministry, an offence contrary to Section 13 and punishable under section 68 of the Corrupt Practices Act 2000.

He was also alleged to have on seperate occassions in 2013, collected a total sum N400 million from Kabiru Paloma, the sum of N50million from Daniel Obah and another sum of N8.9million from Babadoko Mohammed obtained fraudulently from the accounts of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.

Akpore Okeroghene who was a Deputy Director of Finance at the ministry was also accused on receiving the sum of N25million at separate occasions and through a proxy Kabiru Paloma as well as N6 million and N2million respectively from one Nuhu Gadu and Solomon Sunday Tom.

The third accussed person, Ayinla Abibu was also alleged to have
received the sum of N60 million through a proxy Zeocat Nig LTD, with which he used to build a house at Ogbomosho, Oyo state for himself.

He was alleged to have received a total of N91.4million through a proxy, Joykings Nig LTD. Idowu Adewale, a deputy director of accounts in the ministry, was also said to have received the sum of $100,000 from Kabiru Paloma as well as using documents to wit: payment vouchers of the ministry which were defective in material particular and designed to mislead his principal for the purpose of fraudulently obtaining various sums of money from
his principal.

Ntu Ngozi, Deputy Director (Accounts) also received a total sum of N10.25million from one Solomon Sunday Tom in March and October 2014.

The arraignment of the accussed persons follows a petition written to the Chairman of the ICPC from the office of the Permanent Secretary from the ministry titled “case of an unauthorized withdrawal of the sum of N605 million from the ministry of Niger Delta affairs’ 2014 constituency project account with Central Bank of Nigeria, Abuja”, upon which investigation was commenced and the leakages unravelled.

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