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Emmanuel Kucha, Ex-VC Federal University of Agriculture,Makurdi arraigned for collecting bribes

THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Makurdi zonal office, on Tuesday, arraigned Emmanuel Kucha, former Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi,  over an alleged N70 million bribe.

Kucha, a professor in mechanical engineering, was arraigned before a Federal High Court sitting in Makurdi, Benue State on a four-count charge of conspiracy, misappropriation of public funds, abuse of office and gratification.

He is alleged to have collected money to the tune of N70 million as a bribe while carrying out his official duties.

The prosecuting counsel for the anti-graft agency, Y. Tarfa told the court that Kucha committed the offences while serving as a public officer at the university between 2012 and 2017.

The presiding judge, Justice A. Olajuwon had the charges read to the ex-vice chancellor for him to understand the seriousness of the alleged offence.

“That you Emmanuel Kucha whilst serving as the Vice-Chancellor of Federal University of Agriculture, between 2012 and 2017 in Makurdi within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did accept the total sum of N70,327,197 (Seventy Million, Three Hundred and Twenty Seven Thousand, One Hundred and Ninety Seven Naira) through several payments into your Guaranty Trust Bank Account No: 0124395144 as a bribe for performing your official act and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 18(c) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and punishable under section 18(d) of the same Act,” the charge sheet reads.

The former vice-chancellor, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Tarfa said the offences contravened Section 18(c) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offenses Act, 2000.

The Defence Counsel, Timothy Dim, urged the court to grant his client bail on liberal terms, and also remand him in EFCC custody, pending the perfection of the bail condition.

Justice Olajuwon granted the defendant bail in the sum of N10 million, with one surety in like sum.

He also ordered that the surety must be a public servant with the federal or Benue State Government on Grade Level 17, stating that the court must confirm the authenticity of the documents of the surety.

The judge also ordered that the former vice-chancellor should be remanded in EFCC’s custody, pending the completion of his bail conditions.

He adjourned hearing till January 5, for the admission of evidence from prosecution before the court.

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