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Alleged N5m fraud: Benue Dep Speaker, Clerk arraign in court

The deputy speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly, Christopher Adaji and the Clark of the house, Torese Agena have been arraigned at the…

The deputy speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly, Christopher Adaji and the Clark of the house, Torese Agena have been arraigned at the Benue State High Court over alleged N5 million fraud.

The duo were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on two-count charges bordering on conspiracy, bribery, criminal breach of trust and abuse of office.

They pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to them.

The charges levelled against them read:

“That you, Torese Agena, on 18th day of October, 2019 being Clerk, Benue State House of Assembly, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did use your position to confer unfair advantage to yourself as bribe, to the tune of N200, 000 (Two Hundred thousand naira only) from N50, 000, 000 (Fifty Million Naira) payable to High Profile Investment Nigeria Limited by the Benue State Government for the Benue State House of Assembly legislative tour to European countries, and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and punishable under the same Act”.

Clerk of the Benue State House of Assembly, Torese Agena

Count two:

“That you Christopher Adaji between 8th – 14 of November, 2019 within the jurisdiction of this honourable Court spent the sum of N4, 840, 950 (Four Million, Eight Hundred and Forty Thousand, Nine Hundred and Fifty Naira only) the funds allocated to you for European legislative tour on your legal and other services and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 22(5) of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000”.

Following the plea of not guilty, Justice S. O. Itodo admitted them to bail on self-recognizance and thereafter adjourned the case till July 6, 7, and 8, 2020, for the commencement of trial.