Nigerian court okays arraignment of REA officials indicted in alleged N1.84bn fraud

A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday, fixed Sept. 26 for the arraignment of another two senior staff of Rural Electrification Agency (REA) by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC for alleged N1.84 billion fraud.

The officials, who are being prosecuted separately, are Aminat Asuni and Laure Abdullahi.

They were part of the five others already arraigned by the ICPC before sister courts.
Justice Nkeonye Maha fixed the date after ICPC’s counsel, Mrs P.N. Emeka, sought an adjournment to enable the commission to serve the defendants with the charges.

When the two matters were called, Emeka informed the court that the defendants were evading arrest.

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She, however, applied for an adjournment to enable her effect the service of the processes on Asuni and Abdullahi before the next adjourned date, and Justice Maha fixed Sept. 26 for the defendants to take their plea.

The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reports that the ICPC had filed two separate charges against Asuni and Abdullahi.

In the first charge marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/207/2024, the anti-corruption commission filed a four-count charge dated May 8 and filed May 10 against Asuni, while Abdullahi was also preferred with a four-count charge numbered: FHC/ABJ/CR/208/2024, and filed same day.

Asuni was alleged to have, sometime in March 2023 or thereabout while being a public officer in the employment of REA Abuja and with intent to defraud the agency, received the sum of N336 million in different tranches through her Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) account number: 0022457813 under the false pretence of project supervision.

On his part, Abdullahi was alleged to have, within the same period and with intent to defraud the agency, received N433 million in different tranches through his GTB account number: 0023343114 under the false pretence of project supervision.

The act was said to have contributed to the economic adversity of REA.

The offence is contrary to Section 1(1)(a) and punishable under Section 1(3) of the Advance Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006, among others.
The two officials were being charged for diverting the N336 million and N433 million belonging to the agency.

NAN reports that the money formed part of the N1.84 billion allegedly misappropriated by seven top officials of REA, including Abubakar Sambo, Director of Finance and Account of the agency.



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