The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, on Friday arraigned the duo of Apiri Richard Tonye and Paul Charles before Justice Kate Abiri of the Bayelsa State High Court, Yenegoa, on a 4-count charge bordering on conspiracy and stealing.
The accused persons, Apiri Tonye, a former Head of Capital Expenditure in the Bayelsa State Accountant-General’s office and Paul Charles, former Accountant, Bayelsa State Directorate for Project Monitoring and Implementation allegedly diverted and stole about N14.7m meant for the monitoring and supervision of ongoing projects in the state.
One of the charge reads ; “that you Apiri Richard Tonye and Paul Charles on or about the 3rd day of June 2011 at Yenagoa within the Yenagoa Judicial division did steal the sum of N9,000,000.00(Nine Million Naira) by means of a UBA Plc cheque number 37130876 dated 3rd June, 2011 and paid into Fidelity Bank Plc account number 4020748118 in the name of Tonye R. Apiri property of Bayelsa State Government and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 317(5)(9) of the Criminal Code Law Vol. I C14 Laws of Bayelsa State of Nigeria, 2006”.
They accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charges.
In view of their plea, the prosecution counsel, A.I Arogha asked the court for a date to commence trial but the defense counsel, M.A Akindolu and T.O.P Afagha (for the first and second accused persons) presented a formal application for bail and prayed that the accused persons be admitted to bail.
Justice Abiri granted the accused bail in the sum of Two Hundred Thousand Naira (N200, 000,000.00) and one surety each in like sum. The surety must be a level 14 Officer with Bayelsa State Civil Service.
The case was adjourned to the March 28, 2014 for hearing.