N14.1 million SURE-P Fraud: You have case to answer, Judge tells ex-Perm Sec

An Ikeja Special Offences Court has ruled that Clement Illoh, an ex-Federal Permanent Secretary has case to answer in the alleged N14.1 million Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) fraud charges proffered against him.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mr Illoh was a Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity.

At resumed proceedings on Thursday, Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo, in a short ruling on Mr Illoh’s no-case submission, said the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had established a prima facie case against the accused.

“The defendant is hereby called upon to open his defence,” the judge said after dismissing the no-case submission.

Following the ruling, Victor Chinedu, Mr Illoh’s defence counsel, requested for adjournment and informed the court that three witnesses will testify for the defence.

Acceding to the request of the defence, Justice Taiwo adjourned the case until September 19 and 20 for the defence to open their case.

NAN reports that the defendant was arraigned on October 16, 2017 by the anti-graft agency on a three-count charge bordering on stealing by conversion of property to the tune of N14.1 million.

Mr Illoh, who had pleaded not guilty to the charge, was responsible for supervising numerous programmes including SURE-P and allegedly awarded fictitious contracts to himself via his company and friends.

The offences contravened Sections 279 (1), (b) and 285 (6) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011.

He however filed a no-case submission dated April 24, which the court has now dismissed.

(NAN)

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