One time governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP in Nasarawa State, Yusuf Agabi and four others on Monday dodged their scheduled arraignment before Justice Husseini Baba of the Federal Capital Territory, High Court 4, the Street Journal can authoritatively report.
Agabi and four others were alleged of fraudulently obtaining the sum of N605 million from the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and have been in the net of ICPC which preferred a 46 count charge against them.
Agabi could not produce himself in court as he was said to have travelled for the lesser hajj after being served summons by the ICPC prosecuting counsel Paul Bassi.
The fifth accused was also said to have traveled to her village.
Against this background, the prosecuting counsel sought the court for a short adjournment for the accused persons to be produced in court for their arraignment.
Rotimi Ojo, counsel to the second, third and fourth accused persons who were present in court did not object to the relief sought by the prosecution, but rather urged the court to allow the accused persons continue to enjoy the administrative bail granted them by ICPC till they are arraigned.
Justice Baba, the trial judge subsequently granted the prayers as sought and adjourned the matter to September 16 2015 for arraignment of the accused persons.
According to the charge sheet, Yusuf Agabi, being a public officer as a Director of Finance at the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, was alleged to have received for himself the sum of N100million belonging to the Federal Government of Nigeria from one Kabiru Paloma, knowing same to have been obtained fraudulently from the bank account of the Ministry, an offence contrary to Section 13 and punishable under section 68 of the Corrupt Practices Act 2000.
He was also alleged to have on separate occasions in 2013, collected a total sum N400million from Kabiru Paloma, the sum of N50million from Daniel Obah and another sum of N8.9million from Babadoko Mohammed which were obtained fraudulently from the accounts of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.
Akpore Okeroghene who was a Deputy Director of Finance at the ministry was also accused of receiving the sum of N25million at separate occasions and through a proxy Kabiru Paloma as well as N6 million and N2 million respectively from one Nuhu Gadu and Solomon Sunday Tom.
The third accused person, Ayinla Abibu was also alleged to have received the sum of N60million through a proxy Zeocat Nig LTD, with which he used to build a house at Ogbomosho, Oyo state for himself.
He was alleged to have received a total of N91.4million through a proxy, Joykings Nig LTD.
Idowu Adewale, a deputy director of accounts in the ministry, was also said to have received the sum of $100,000 from Kabiru Paloma as well as using documents to wit: payment vouchers of the ministry which were defective in material particular and designed to mislead his principal for the purpose of fraudulently obtaining various sums of money from his principal.
Ntu Ngozi, Deputy Director (Accounts) also received a total sum of N10.25million from one Solomon Sunday Tom in March and October 2014.
The arraignment of the accused persons follows a petition written to the Chairman of the ICPC from the office of the Permanent Secretary from the ministry titled “case of an unauthorized withdrawal of the sum of N605,073,540.00 from the ministry of Niger Delta affairs’ 2014 constituency project account with Central Bank of Nigeria, Abuja”,