ICPC arraigns two Benue officials for alleged N4.8 billion fraud

Benue on map
Benue on map

A divisional high court in Benue State has arraigned two officials of the Benue State Government for alleged misappropriation of funds to the tune of N4.8 billion.

Stephen Amase, Principal Private Secretary to the Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom; and Manger Emmanuel, a former Commissioner of Works and presently, Special Adviser, Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology, Benue State; were arraigned before Justice S.O Itodo for diverting public funds into private use.
The Anti-graft agency, ICPC, said this in a statement on Sunday.

According to the commission, the accused committed the offence in March 2016, which it said is contrary to Sections 12 and 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.

The prosecution counsel for ICPC, G. O Iwuagwu, informed the court that the first defendant, Mr Amase, used his position to secure contracts unlawfully for a firm, Tongyi New International Construction Limited.

Mr Iwuagwu further said the second accused person, Mr Emmanuel, also conspired with the Principal Private Secretary by using his position to award a contract to an unqualified company Tongyi New International Construction Limited for said amount.

The prosecutor, therefore, said the accused acted deliberately to mislead the State Tenders Board and State Executive Council in the award of the contract.

After the accused person pleaded not guilty to the charge, their counsel, C. A. K. Asheka, made an application for their bail, which Mr Iwuagwu did not oppose.

Justice Itodo granted them bail in the sum of N10 million with one surety each of not less than grade level 16 official and serving with the Benue State Government. The sureties are to deposit evidence of ownership of landed property within Makurdi metropolis.

The case was adjourned to February 5, 6, and 7, 2020 for further hearing.


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