The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Tuesday arraigned a former Commissioner of Police (CP), Victor Onofiok, on a 21-count charge of money laundering and illegal diversion of police funds to the tune of N1.9 billion, before Justice Chizoba Oji of the FCT High Court sitting in Apo, Abuja.
Mr Onofiok, who served as the CP, C Department in charge of Works, Logistics and Supply of the Nigeria Police Force, Force Headquarters, was accused of abuse of office and award of contracts for the construction and rehabilitation of police facilities across the country to personal companies.
Count one reads:
“That you, CP Victor Onofiok (rtd), while serving as CP Force Headquarters, between 2008 -2009 at Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court being a servant did unlawfully use your office and position to corruptly confer unfair advantage upon yourself and business registered names which you operate namely: Faksene International, Dutse Allah Construction Ventures, Nne-Edak Technical Ventures, Puristic Adherent Company and Quality Watch Construction Company”.
Particulars of count fifteen of the charge read:
“That you, CP Victor Onofiok (rtd), while serving as a Commissioner of Police, CP, C Department Works, Logistics and Supply of the Nigeria Police Force , Force Headquarters, Abuja sometime in September 2011 at Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court while being employed in public service knowingly acquired indirectly a private interest in a contract for rehabilitation of 3 Nos. 8 flat Inspectors Quarters at Victoria Island, Police Station Type B at Bar Beach and rehabilitation of 1 No 8 Man Rank and File Quarters at Ikorodu, Lagos State, in the sum of N95,670,500.00 (Ninety Five million, Six Hundred and Seventy Thousand, Five Hundred Naira) awarded to Quantity Watch Construction Company, a registered business name on account of your public service as the Commissioner of Police, C Department, Works, Logistics and Supply and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 12 of the Corrupt Practices and other Related Ofences Act 2000”.
The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge.
In view of his plea of ‘not guilty’, Deborah Eteh, counsel to EFCC, urged the court to fix a date for trial and to remand the suspect in prison custody.
However, Mr Onofiok’s counsel, Paul Erokoro, informed the court that he had a pending bail application for the defendant.
“My Lord, the defendant is on administrative bail by the prosecution and has not breached any of its terms. We urged the court to grant him bail,” Mr Erokoro pleaded.
Mr Eteh opposed the bail application and urged the court to refuse it, considering the gravity of the offence committed
Justice Oji, while fixing June 1 for hearing of the bail application ordered the remand of the defendant in EFCC custody.