Government worker arrested for buying $140,000 US property

A director in the Federal Ministry of Education , Victor Igboanugo, has been arrested by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission for purchasing a property worth $ 140 , 000 in the United States of America and taking kickbacks worth millions of naira .

During his arraignment before Justice V . B. Ashi of the Federal Capital Territory High Court sitting in Apo , Abuja , Igboanugo was accused of using his office and position to also commit fraud worth N 162 m .

The ICPC told the court that the accused, while acting as the Deputy Director of Procurement at the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, bought the property in the US , whose cost was above his legitimate income .

The commission , in a statement by its spokesperson , Rasheedat Okoduwa , said , “ The accused is being arraigned for alleged contract fraud to the tune of N 162 m and ownership of a property valued way above his legitimate income.

“ Mr Igboanugo, who had worked at various times in the ministries of Environment and Niger Delta Affairs , is facing 17 counts before Justice Ashi of the Federal Capital Territory High Court 23 , Apo , Abuja . ”

The commission also accused Igboanugo of abuse of office and conferring undue advantage upon himself , saying the alleged crimes contravened sections 10, 12 and 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 , and were punishable under the same sections .

The counsel for the ICPC , Henry Emore , told the court that Igboanugo, while being the Secretary of the Ministerial Tenders ’ Board at the Ministry of Environment , facilitated the award of multiple contracts to private companies where he held personal interests .

“ He was further accused of receiving N 20m kickback through one of his companies , Phinavic Ventures Limited , from the Chief Executive Officer of Lufem Engineering Limited , Mr Asiwaju Adekanbi , after the award of a contract for the construction of a skills acquisition centre.

The charges read in part, “ That you , Victor Igboanugo, sometime in October 2008 or thereabout in Abuja , the Federal Capital Territory , while being a public officer , used your position as Deputy Director and Secretary of the Ministerial Tenders’ Board of the Federal Ministry of Environment to confer corrupt advantage upon yourself by awarding a contract for the construction of a three-bedroom semi – detached bungalow at the Prototype Housing Scheme , Asaba , Delta State, to your company , Echedom Technical & Trading Company Limited for a contract sum of N 10. 5 m , thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act , 2000 . ”

After the defendant had pleaded not guilty to the charges , the defence counsel put in an application for bail, which was not opposed by the ICPC counsel.

The application was granted by Justice Ashi in the sum of N 2 m with one surety in like sum , who must be an officer not below Grade Level 14 in the Federal Civil Service .

The case was adjourned till June 19, 2019 , for trial .

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