Nigeria News Agency director absent in court over N69m fraud

The arraignment of a former Director of Accounts of the News Agency of Nigeria, Joe Okhiku, over alleged misappropriation of N69.1 million was stalled on Thursday at an Abuja High Court.

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, was supposed to have arraigned Mr. Okhiku on an 11-count charge bordering on misappropriation of public funds, while he acted as managing director of the agency.

At the resumed proceeding, Davidson Alegwe, counsel to the suspect, told the court that his client was absent because of injuries he sustained from a car accident.

Mr. Alegwe further said that the suspect was currently hospitalised at the Asokoro General Hospital, Abuja.

“With me is the medical report from the hospital to buttress our claims,” he said. “The suspect cannot wait to clear his good name from the allegations brought against him. We, therefore, seek the indulgence of the court to adjourn the matter to give time to my client to get well.”

The ICPC counsel, Peace Arocha, did not oppose the oral application for adjournment but urged the court to verify the authenticity of Alegwe’s claim.

The commission’s lawyer said that the suspect’s action was contrary to and punishable under the ICPC Act of 2000.

Justice Ishaq Bello reserved March 28 for the arraignment of the suspect.

(NAN)


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