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Abia Deputy  Speaker in Trouble Over Corruption, Fraud Allegation




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From  Ignatius   Okpara, Owerri

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), has dragged Deputy Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly, Dr. Cosmos Chukwudi Ndukwe to court for  alleged using his position as public officer for self gratification and corrupt enrichment.

According to the anti graft agency, the  offences contravene the provisions of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.

Ndukwe was arraigned  before Hon. Justice C.C.Thomas Adiele at the Abia State High court, Umuahia, (ICPC).

The accused person, alongside  2 others are standing trial on an eight count charge of corrupt enrichment to the tune of N54,610,000 (Fifty Four Million Six Hundred and Ten Thousand) Naira only.

Ndukwe, was alleged to have used his position  as the Managing Director/Chief Executive of Abia State Environmental Protection Agency between February 2007 – April 2012  to confer a corrupt advantage upon himself by accepting the sum of N5, 850,000 (Five million, eight hundred and fifty thousand Naira only) purportedly as a loan from Messrs Ancoold Nigeria Limited, a contractor with the Agency where he served as an official.

The Commission stated that the  offence is contrary to and punishable under Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.

Also, the defendants  and his company Conk Productions Nigeria Limited  (the second accused person), were alleged to have received gratification to the tune of N42,750,000 (Forty two million, seven hundred and fifty thousand naira) in various monthly installments between March 2009- December 2009 at Umuahia .

“And in January 2010, he was also  alleged to have corruptly accepted for himself, the total sum of N5, 000,000 (Five million Naira)  through an agent, Chijioke Okonkwo ( the third accused person) as rewards for assisting Ancoold Nigeria Limited to secure prompt payment of the contract fees for the provision of environmental sanitation services to Abia state Environmental Protection Agency.

“Dr Ndukwe and his agent, Mr Chijioke Okonkwo were alleged to have conspired with one other to conceal the gratification by depositing the said sum in the account of Messrs Conk Productions Nig. Ltd. under various names, an offence that is contrary to section 26(1)(c)  and punishable under Section 24 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.

The accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charges and the defence counsels, tendered formal bail applications for the court to admit the accused to bail.

Prosecuting Counsel from ICPC, Barr. E. Oti did not raise any objection because the offences for which the accused persons were standing trial were bailable.

But he however, appealed to the Judge to give strident bail conditions to ensure that the accused persons do not jump bail.

After listening to the defence counsels,  Justice Adiele granted bail to each of them in the sum of one million naira and one surety each in like sum.

The surety shall show evidence of means, tax payment, residential address within Aba and Umuahia, and the address must be verified by the Registrar of the court.

In addition, the surety must provide three passport photographs.  The judge stated that if they were not able to perfect their bail that day, they were to be released to their counsels on the condition that they would come back within seven days to perfect their bail requirements..

The case was adjourned to 3rd, 4th and 5th June 2019 for definite hearing.

 

 

 


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