The present administration’s war on corruption recorded major success in the power sector with the jailing of a former MD and four top officials of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA). They were convicted for their involvement in a N5.2billion rural electrification project contract scam.
They were jailed at the weekend by Justice Adebukola Banjoko of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, Abuja.
The convicts are the agency’s former managing director, Engr. Samuel Ibi Gekpe, Simon Kirdi Nanle, an accountant, Engr. Kayode Orekoya, director of Projects, Abdulsamad Garba Hahun, an assistant director and Kayode Oyedeji, head of Legal Department.
Justice Banjoko, however, absolved a former permanent secretary in the Ministry of Power, Dr. Abdullahi Aliyu, of any wrongdoing in the N5.2billion fraud, for which Gekpe and the other officials were found guilty.
They were found guilty of all the 65-count charge preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Aliyu and the convicted officials were prosecuted by the EFCC for allegedly defrauding the federal government of N5.2billion.
Specifically, the defendants were charged to court for criminal breach of trust, which they perpetrated by awarding contracts for grid extension and solar electricity from the amended 2008 budget of REA.
The court had upheld the “no-case” submission by Aliyu on appeal and was subsequently discharged and acquitted.
In the judgement delivered on Friday, Justice Banjoko dismissed the application of Gekpe, the first defendant, where he challenged the jurisdiction of the court to hear the case.
On the substantive charge, the court noted that the prosecution had established by way of evidence, all ingredients of the offences levelled against the defendants.
The judge held that the matter was a clear manifestation of dishonesty as the contract awards were well crafted to boycott laid down process.
Banjoko, however, noted that the federal government did not incur any loss and that the prosecution could not prove that the defendants diverted the funds meant for rural electrification to their personal use.
Accordingly, the defendants were convicted and sentenced. The 1st defendant was sentenced to three years imprisonment with an option of N5million fine payable within one month, while the 3rd- 6th defendants were sentenced to three years imprisonment with an option of N500,000 fine each.
The permanent secretary and the directors were accused of fraudulently facilitating the withdrawal of the sum of N119.7million from the account of the REA, domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Corruption Cuts Across Sectors – ICPC Chairman
Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), on Friday said prevalence of corruption in...
Court Remands Father Accused Of Sexually Assaulting 3 Daughters
An Ikeja Chief Magistrates’ Court on Friday ordered that a 57-year-old father, Mr Mojeeb Fashola, accused of sexually assaulting his...
Edo: APC Shouldn’t Push Obaseki Out – Idahosa
Charles Idahosa was special adviser on Political Matters to former Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. In this interview with...
Bayelsa Has Resources To Up IGR – Agbedi
In this interview with CHIBUZO UKAIBE, Hon Fred Agbedi, representing Sagbama/Ekeremor Federal Constituency of Bayelsa State, speaks on some pressing...
Bayelsa APC Gov’ship Aspirants’ Split Over Mode Of Primaries
The controversy that trailed the adoption of direct mode of primaries by stakeholders within the APC in Bayelsa State has...
Our Garments Are Works Of Art – Gounden
Ethical, stylish and luxurious, these three words summarise the design and feel of Vanessa Gounden couture. Vanessa has taken inspiration...
Natural Treatment For Fibroids
Most intelligent people while solving a problem make sure that they don’t leave any scope for its return. When we...
FEATURES15 hours ago
Sen Abbo Abducted My Daughter – Father
EDUCATION16 hours ago
30 Nigerian Students Get Full U.S. Govt Scholarship
POLITICS15 hours ago
Bayelsa APC Writes Oshiomhole Over Adoption Of Direct Mode Of Party Primary
NEWS16 hours ago
U.S. Designates Hezbollah Leader Global Terrorist, Offers $7m For Information
OPINION15 hours ago
GYB – A Performer Who Deserves The Ultimate Crown
OPINION21 hours ago
The Gbajabiamila You Don’t Know
ENTERTAINMENT18 hours ago
Bill Gates Loses ‘Second Richest Man’ Seat To LVMH’s Bernard Arnault
CRIME16 hours ago
Court Remands 2 Teenagers For Allegedly Defiling 13-year-old Girl