Alleged N3bn fraud: ICPC arraigns NDDC director, FCT official

The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), on Tuesday, arraigned a director with Niger-Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dr Solomon Okpa Ita for alleged diversion of N45 million.
The ICPC also arraigned Gabriel Nathaniel, a staff in the Accounts Department of the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC) over allegations bordering on diversion of about N3 billion from his office.
They were arraigned separately before Justice Zainab Abubakar of a Federal High Court, Abuja, pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against them.
Ita, a director in the Department of Community and Rural Development of NDDC, was arraigned on a four-count charge while Nathaniel was arraigned on a 14-count charge.
In the charge marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/110/2022, filed by the ICPC, through its lawyer, Osuobeni Akponimsingha, Ita was said to have diverted part of the funds paid for a contract awarded to a group, Radiant Women Association.
In count one, Ita was accused to have, sometime in September, 2018 or thereabout, indirectly took possession of the sum of N22,400,000. 00. through his First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Account Number: 0542393012, received from the Zenith Bank account of one Solomon Eyarebe & Ebikebina,.
The money was said to form part of the payment of the N45,000,000. 00 made to Radiant Women Association for a purported contract to wit: “Workshop for Youth Restiveness in Cross River State” awarded by NDDC through the Department of Community & Rural Development was made.
In the count, he was alleged to have committed an offence contrary to Section 15 (2)(d) and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended).
Also in the charge marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/CR/168/2022 filed against Nathaniel, he was accused of committing the alleged offence between 2015 and 2019.
After their not guilty plea, Justice Abubakar granted N50million bail to Ita with one surety who must own a property within Abuja.
The judge ruled that the certificate of occupancy of the property, which should be verified by the registrar, would be deposited at the court registry.
Abubakar ordered that Ita be remanded in the custody of the ICPC pending when he meets the bail condition, and adjourned the matter until Oct. 25 for trial.
However, the judge fixed hearing of Nathaniel’s bail plea for Wednesday and ordered him to be remanded at the commission’s custody.

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