The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, has charged the traditional ruler of Ipupe community in Ubalaka Umuahia South local government of Abia State, Chima Bolo Ubiaru, before a state High Court sitting in Umuahi, for allegedly diverting N40million belonging to the community for his personal use.
The traditional ruler was charged alongsideside his brother, Iyke Patrick Ubiaru, a retired captain of the Nigerian Army, who is now the Palace secretary.
This is sequel to a petition by members of the Ipupe Development Union, IDU, to the commission that the community head connived with his brother to cheat them of N40 million from the N60 million given to them by the federal government through the Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited, as compensation for the relocation of shrines in the sacred forest of Okota in the community.
They alleged that the brothers lied about the amount received and converted a large chunk of it for their personal use.
Counsel to the ICPC, Raheem Adeshina, said the act of stealing public funds is contrary to and punishable under Sections 19 and 24 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000 and Section 383(1) and 390(9) of the Criminal Code Act Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
The accused persons, however, pleaded not guilty to the seven count charge preferred against them and were granted bail.
The presiding judge, Justice A. U Kalu after listening to the submissions of counsels for ICPC and the accused persons adjourned the matter till April 16, 2014 for hearing.