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N1.8b fraud: ICPC arraigns REA finance director

The Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) has arraigned the Director of Finance and Accounts of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), Sambo Abdullahi, before a Federal…

The Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) has arraigned the Director of Finance and Accounts of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), Sambo Abdullahi, before a Federal High Court in Abuja.

Abdullahi was arraigned on charges bordering on the unauthorised diversion of about N1.8 billion REA funds to personal accounts.

ICPC alleged that Sambo Abdullahi, sometime in March 2023, being a public servant in the employ of REA, received N1.85bn in different tranches “for a purported project supervision exercise, contrary to and punishable under Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.”

The defendant was alleged to have used his role to authorise and finalise payments without proper approvals and bypass the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) portal.

The charges signed by the ICPC’s Director of Legal Services, Henry Empire, and Assistant Legal Officer, Dr Osuoben Ekoi Akponimisinghi, listed some unusual inflows like Henrietta Okojie Onomen N342m, Asuni Aminat N346m, Usman Kwakwa N298m, Shehu Abdullahi N433m, Emmanuel Titus N261m, and Musa Karaye N164m.

The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Justice Mobolaji Olajuwon also granted bail to Sambo in the sum of N200m.

Similarly, a sister court presided by Justice Emeka Nwite granted the bail applications of three officials of REA who are facing trial in the court.

The matter was adjourned to July 10 for more hearing.

 

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