Edo APC women leader, others remanded for alleged N1.5b contract scam
• Rivers govt cautions party against pro-SARS protest
A Benin City High Court yesterday remanded the Edo State Women Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Aisosa Amadasun and four others in prison custody over an alleged contract scam.
Amadasun and the four namely: Prince Stephen Alao, Adams Osabuohien, Dove Momodu and Ali Sulayman, were arraigned on 50 count charges.They were alleged to have used their offices while serving as members of the Edo State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) to award contracts to their cronies after collecting money from them, an act punishable under section 98b (1) (a) (II) of the Criminal Code, CAP. 48 Laws of Bendel State of Nigeria, as applicable to Edo State.
They were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on charge no B/ED/EFCC/5/2017Counsel to EFCC, Ben Udi, argued that the accused persons be remanded in prison custody to enable him study their bail applications.
They were alleged to have corruptly enriched themselves with various sums of money from the sale of their own share of SUBEB contracts, an offense punishable under section26 (1) and other relevant sections of the Corrupt Practices and other Related Offenses (ICPC) Act 2000.
They were alleged to have committed the offenses in 2016. Earlier, counsel to the accused, Ivie Fidelis, in his bail application, submitted that the accused abided by the conditions attached to the administrative bail the EFCC granted them.
In the charge sheet, Alao was alleged to have single-handedly awarded the contract sum of N192.138m for the supply of students’ plastic seats and desks to one Fugard Agriculture Development Company Limited, a company owned by his family.
He was also accused of awarding contracts to friends and family members for pecuniary gains as well as demanded for the sum of N22m from one Lawrence Nyamali for the bulk sale of his own share of contracts.
Amadasun was alleged to have received over N10m from different contractors as bulk sale of his shares of contracts awarded to them.Having listened to their arguments, the presiding judge, Justice Ohimai Ovbiagele ordered that the accused persons be remanded in prison till October 9, 2017 to rule on their bail application and adjourned hearing to October 26 and 27, 2017.
Meanwhile, to avert crisis in Rivers State, the government has appealed to the All Progressives Congress (APC) to shelve the planned solidarity march for the police Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
The APC has, however, said the suggestion that it would protest in solidarity with the SARS or any other federal agency was laughable.Commissioner for Information and Communications, Emma Okah, said it was disheartening to know that some politicians were importing hostile politics and divisiveness into crime fighting and prevention thereby weakening the state government’s efforts at ensuring that Rivers remained safe and secured for all.
Okah said the state government has continuously raised the alarm over the atrocities of some operatives of the SARS without any concrete action from the police high command. But in a swift reaction, APC spokesperson, Chris Finebone, said the allegations against the party were not true, adding that it was another attempt by the state government to politicise security issues in the state.
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