Yusuf Agabi, others rearraigned over fraud in Niger Delta Ministry


Yusuf Agabi, former finance director at the ministry of Niger Delta Affairs was Thursday re-arraigned by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

He is standing trial on a 45 count charges of fraudulently obtaining N100million from the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs

Agabi, also a former governorship aspirant in Nassarawa State under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was re-arraigned before Justice Adegboyega Adeniyi of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Apo following his request for the reassignment of his case to another judge.

Agabi, alongside four others  was earlier in 2015 arraigned before another FCT High Court in Maitama, but was transferred upon a petition to the Chief Justice of the FCT.

Agabi while 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 seperate occassions 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 obtained fraudulently from the accounts of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.

Akpore Okeroghene, a Deputy Director of Finance at the ministry was also accused of receiving the sum of N25million at seperate occassions and through a proxy, Kabiru Paloma as well as N6million and N2million respectively from one Nuhu Gadu and Solomon Sunday Tom.

The third accussed person, Ayinla Abibu was also alleged to have receieved 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.

Having taken their plea and pleaded not guilty, the accussed persons who had been on a N10million bail bond granted them by another FCT High Court in Maitam, were admitted to the same bail conditions by the new trial court, which he said the facts and documents should be handed over to the most senior registrar of his court.

The matter was subsequently adjourned to March 1, 2 and 3, 2016 for a day to day trial

The arraignment of the accussed 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”, upon which investigation was commenced and the leakages unravelled.

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