The Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) said on Thursday it has arraigned a former Speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Istifanus Mwanswat and seven others for allegedly diverting N40m Assembly votes into personal use.
The others are Mrs. Joyce Ramnap, Emmanuel Goar, Joe Dawan, Dio Lamul, Michael Jubrin, John Clarck Dabwan and Dalyop Mancha.
They were arraigned before Justice Christian Ladi Dabup of Plateau State High Court 5, Jos, for alleged conspiracy and abuse of office.
A statement by the spokesperson for the ICPC, Mrs. Rasheedat A. Okoduwa, said: “All the accused persons were alleged to have diverted the sum of N40,000,000 meant for running of the Assembly to their personal use.
“The prosecuting counsel for ICPC, Isaac Jiya, informed the Judge that sometime in 2011, the first accused person, Mwansat, while being the Speaker of the Assembly, allegedly used N6,000,000 out of the Assembly’s fund for his personal purposes, thereby committing an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.
“Jiya also told the judge that by conspiring with the former Speaker, the second accused person, Hon. Joyce Ramnap, also diverted the sum of N 4,400,000 for her personal use, thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 26 and punishable under Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.
“The erstwhile Speaker was also alleged to have aided four ex-legislators of the Assembly charged alongside him to divert the sum of N4, 400,000 each for their personal purposes while two others allegedly diverted N2,400,000 each, thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 26 and punishable under Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.
“All the accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charges levelled against them and applied for bail through their counsel, S.T Panwal and Mr. J.D Morolayo respectively.
“Thereafter, the Judge granted each accused person bail in the sum of N500, 000 and a surety residing within the jurisdiction of the court or an original evidence of ownership of a landed property to be handed over to the court.
“The case was adjourned to March 6 and 7, 2018 for the commencement of hearing.”