A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory has found a former director of the Rural Electrification Agency, Samuel Gekpe and five others guilty of diverting N6 billion contract fund.
The accused were brought before the trial court headed by Justice Adebukola Banjoko by the federal government for the offence as well as fraudulent neglect of the Public Procurement Act, 2007.
The Nation newspaper reports that the judgment was delivered by the court on February 8.
According to the report, the accused diverted the sum in 2008 when they served as members of the agency’s public procurement committee.
The co-accused include: a former Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Power works and Housing, Abdullahi Aliyu; an accountant with the agency, Simon Nanle; a director, Lawrence Orekoya; an assistant director with the agency, Abdulsamad Jahun; and REA’s former head of legal department, Kayode Oyedeji.
The defendants had filed a no-case-submission and challenged the court’s jurisdiction to entertain the matter.
In a ruling however, the trial judge dismissed the no-case-submission. The court said the prosecution succeeded in proving its case against the defendants.
The Court ordered that the first defendant, Mr. Gekpe, be remanded in prison for three years with an option of N5 million while the other defendants were sentenced to three years in prison but with an option of N500, 000 each.