Niger Delta Ministry Director Arraigned Over N600 Million Fraud

 

ICPC operatives and a suspect. File Photo
ICPC operatives and a suspect. File photo

The Independent and Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, ICPC, has arraigned a former director of finance in the Ministry of Niger Delta, Yusuf Agabi, before the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, High Court on a 46 count charge bothering on fraud.

Agabi, a former Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governorship aspirant in Nassarawa State, was first charged before Justice Husseini Baba of the FCT High Court along with four others earlier in the year but the case was adjourned due to the absence of the principal accused person, who was on a lesser hajj to Saudi Arabia.

The accused persons allegedly illegally obtained N100 million from the Niger Delta Ministry

The other four accused persons are Akpore Okeroghene, deputy director, finance, Idowu Adewale, deputy director accounts, Ntu Ngozi, deputy director, accounts and Ayinla Abibu.

All five of them pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to them and requested for bail through a motion filed by their respective counsels.

Justice Baba granted the accused persons bail in the sum of N10million with one surety who must at least be a deputy director in the federal civil service resident in Abuja.

The ICPC investigations into the matter followed a petition written by the permanent secretary in the Niger Delta ministry alerting the anti-graft agency of an unauthorized withdrawal of the sum of N605,073,540.00 from the ministry’s 2014 constituency project account with Central Bank of Nigeria, Abuja.

While serving as director of finance at the ministry, Agabi and the others accused persons, who all worked in the accounts department, had apparently cooked up a scheme to illegally withdraw money from the ministry’s accounts.

In the case of Agabi, he allegedly received the sum of N100million 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 separate occasions in 2013, collected a total sum N400million from Kabiru Paloma, the sum of N50million from Daniel Obah and another sum of N8.9million from Babadoko Mohammed all fraudulently obtained  from the accounts of the ministry.

    On his part, Okeroghene was accused of receiving the sum of N25 million on separate occasions from Kabiru Paloma as well as N6million and N2million respectively from one Nuhu Gadu and Solomon Sunday Tom, all illegally withdrawn from the ministry’s accounts.

    The third accused person, Abibu was also allegedly N60million through a proxy, Zeocat Nig LTD, with which he used to build a house at Ogbomosho, Oyo state. He was alleged to have received N91.4million through another proxy, Joykings Nig LTD.

    In the same vein, Adewale allegedly illegally received $100,000 belonging to the ministry while Ngozi also received a total sum of N10.25million from one Solomon Sunday Tom in March and October 2014.

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