Court Jails 6 Rural Electricity Agency Directors for N5.2bn Scam
Justice Adebukola Banjoko of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, High Court sitting in Gudu, Abuja today, convicted and sentenced former directors of the Rural Electricity Agency, REA, to various jail terms for their culpability In the N5.2bn scam.
The convicts include Engr. Samuel Ibi, former managing director, REA; Dr. Abdullahi Aliyu, former permanent secretary of the ministry of power; Simon Kirdi Nanle, an Accountant in REA; Engr. Kayode Orekoya, Director of Projects; Abdusamad Garba Hahun, Assistant Director and Kayode Oyedeji, Head of Legal Department.
They were charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for criminal breach of trust in fraudulently awarding a contract for Grid Extension and Solar Electricity from the amended 2008 budget of the REA.
They were alleged to have fraudulently facilitated the withdrawal of the sum of N119.7million from the account of the agency domiciled in Central Bank of Nigeria.
In the course of the trial, the prosecution led by Kemi Pinheiro, SAN, called 7 witnesses before closing its case. Rather than open its defense, the defendants through Paul Ewekoro SAN made a no case submission which was overruled by the Court and thereafter was called upon to open their defenses.
The 1st-3rd defendants rested their cases on that of the Prosecution. The 4th – 6th Defendants testified in person. Final addresses were filed, exchanged and adopted. Upon adoption of the respective final addresses by the prosecution and the defendants, the court adjourned to February 8, 2018, for judgment.
The court in a well-considered judgment today, dismissed the 1st defendant’s (Gekpe) application challenging the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the charge. On the substantive charge, the court found that the prosecution had established by evidence all ingredients of the offenses against the defendants.
The defendants were accordingly convicted and sentenced as follows: 1st defendant sentenced to 3yrs imprisonment with an option of N5million fine; the 3rd – 6th defendants sentenced to 3yrs imprisonment with an option of N500,000 fine each, payable within the 30 days.