From Benjamin Babine, Abuja
The former Chairman of the disbanded Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP), Mr Okoi Obono-Obla, has been arraigned in courtroom on allegation of offences bordering on fraud.
Obono-Obla was arraigned earlier than Justice Olukayode Adeniyi of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, Apo, by the Independent Corrupt Practices and different associated offences Commission (ICPC) for allegedly forging an O’ Level certificate.
He was charged alongside his Special Adviser on Protocol, Aliyu Ibrahim, and the Managing Director of ABR Global Petroleum Resources Limited, Daniel Omughele, for allegedly diverting N19.9 million meant for the furnishing of SPIP’s workplace.
In a 10-count cost, the Commission accused Obono-Obla of knowingly presenting a pretend consequence with a credit score cross in English Literature to the University of Jos, with which he secured admission to learn Law, opposite to Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000, and punishable underneath the identical part.
The Commission alleged that whereas Obono-Obla did not seat for the Ordinary Level General Certificate Examination (GCE) in English Literature in 1982, he introduced a consequence of the identical GCE to the University of Jos, in 1985, containing Credit 6 from Mary Knoll College, Ogoja. An offence which is opposite to Section 363 and punishable underneath Section 364 of the Penal Code Act 532, Vol. 4 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
The cost additional revealed that Obono Obla, Aliyu Ibrahim and Daniel Omughele, in July, 2018, diverted N18.2 million out of N19.9 million launched to SPIP for workplace furnishings by the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Cooperation (NDIC). Ibrahim was accused of receiving the cash from six contractors who had received bids for the workplace furnishing opposite to Section 26 (c)(i) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and punishable underneath Section 68 of the identical Act.
They all pleaded not responsible when the cost was learn to them. The counsel, Paul Irokore, SAN, AC Ozokwo and Emmanuel Okere for Obono-Obla, respectively prayed the courtroom to grant them bail in liberal phrases. Counsel to ICPC, Samuel Ipinlaye, who did not oppose the bail nonetheless prayed the courtroom to grant them bail on such situations that will guarantee their attendance in courtroom for trial.
The trial Judge, Adeniyi, whereas ruling on the bail purposes granted them bail in the sum of N10 million every and a surety in like sum. The courtroom additional dominated that the surety should be administrators in the employment of the federal authorities or the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA). The accused had been additionally to submit their worldwide passports with the senior Registrar of the Court.
Mr Obono-Obla was arrested by ICPC in March 2020 after being declared wished by the Commission in October 2019. Obono-Obla had additionally challenged the powers of ICPC to analyze allegations of certificate forgery levelled towards him however this was dismissed by the courts in May 2020.
The case was adjourned to March 17, 18 and 19 for the graduation of trial.
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