By Adetokunbo FAKEYE
Nigeria - An Assistant Director in the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF), Mr. Yildiyel Musa Takat and an Administration Officer at the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), Mr. Nankpat Dukbong have been arraigned by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), over allegations of fraud, employment scam and conspiracy.
The duo, as confirmed by ICPC spokesperson, Mrs Azuka Ogugua were brought before Honourable Justice O. A. Musa of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court 7, sitting in Jabi, Abuja, via a Charge No: CR/151/2022.
She said, in a 6-count charge, ICPC accused the defendants of conspiracy, abuse of office and defrauding unsuspecting job seekers to the tune of Two Million, Nine Hundred Thousand Naira (₦2,900,000).
The Commission led by its counsel, told the Court of how the accused persons solicited and collected on separate occasions the sums of Five Hundred Thousand Naira (₦500,000); and Two Million Four Hundred Thousand Naira (₦2,400,000) from their victims in the guise of securing employment for them in the Federal Civil Service.
While the first defendant (Takat) was charged on counts 1, 2, 4, and 5, the second defendant (Dukbong) was charged on count 1, 3, 4, and 6 respectively.
Their actions are contrary to Section 26 and punishable under Section 18 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.
The accused persons pleaded not guilty to all the charges when they were read to them.
In two separate "Motions on Notice" and pursuant to sections 34 and 36 of the 1999 Constitution as amended as well as sections 162 and 163 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015, both counsel to the first and second defendants moved for bail application on behalf of their clients.
They both sought the relief of the Court to use its discretionary powers to grant the bail in the most liberal of conditions.
In a swift reaction, counsel to ICPC in a counter motion, opposed the prayers sought by counsel to first defendant, saying that he had been evading trial, describing him as a serial offender who had multiple court cases against him, and therefore urged the Court to deny him the prayers sought by his lawyer, while the bail application of the second defendant was not opposed.
The trial judge after listening to both parties admitted the first accused person to bail in the sum of Four Million Naira (N4,000,000) and a surety in like sum, who must be a civil servant on grade level 08 and above. The surety was also ordered to surrender his letter of first appointment and last promotion as well as identity card.
The second accused person was also granted bail in the sum Two Million Naira (₦2,000,000) and a surety in like sum.
Justice Musa also ruled that the sureties must show evidence of residency within the FCT with clear address and snap themselves in front of their residents and submit to court. He equally asked them to undertake a bond to compel the defendants to attend their trial, failure of which will not only result to the revocation of the bails, but the prosecution of the sureties.
The matter was adjourned to the 19th of October 2023 for hearing.