Finally, EFCC Arraigns Former NBC Boss, Mba, Three Others for Alleged Corruption

Finally, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Tuesday, arraigbed the former Director General of the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Emeka Mba, before the Federal High Court in Abuja.
He was alleged to have committed N2.9bn fraud in the award of set of boxes for digital switch.
Recall, in the last two proceedings the EFCC failed to appeared in court for arraignment without any reason.
However, Mba was arraigned alongside the Director of Finance and Accounts at the NBC, Patrick Areh, and two business men that were allegedly used to launder funds, Basil Udotai and Babatunji Amure.
The four defendants pleaded not guilty to an amended 15-count money laundering charge the anti-graft agency preferred against them before trial Justice Gabriel Kolawole.
EFCC alleged that Mba and Areh used their positions at the NBC to corruptly enrich themselves by illegally diverting funds into Zenith Bank Plc accounts of companies operated by the 3rd and 4th defendants.
It said the funds were subsequently wired back to the duo via bank accounts belonging to Bureau-de-change operators.
Mba was further alleged to had on or about August 31, 2015, awarded to 13 companies, contract for the supply of set boxes in the sum of N1.2bn for digital switch over for the NBC, without securing approval from the Bureau of Public Procurement, BPE, contrary to section 40 of the Public Procurement Act No. 65 and punishable under section 58 or same Act.
Shortly after the defendants entered their plea to the charge, the prosecution counsel, Ben Ikani, applied for trial date, even as he informed the court that the anti-graft agency would call 13 witnesses to testify in the matter.
However, the defendants, through their respective lawyers, Mr. S. I. Ameh, SAN, I.F. Chude, James Onoja, SAN, and E.C. Ani, urged the court to release their clients on bail pending hearing and determination of charges against them.
The Court, however, granted Mba bail with a bond of N50m.
The Judge further said the defendants were to continue enjoying the administrative bail granted them by the EFCC, till 14 days from the date of the court’s ruling.
Failure of the defendant’s to meet the said bail conditions, would result in their re-arrest by the EFCC, said Justice Kolawole.
“The defendants shall within 14 days fulfil the conditions. With the event that the defendants are unable to meet the conditions within 14 days from today, the bail shall automatically lapse and they shall be returned to the custody of the EFCC until they meet the bail conditions,” the Judge said.
The case was adjourned till February 28 for trial.

Author: News Editor

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