Court detains two ministry officials for alleged misappropriation of power to the tune of N12 million

Court detains two ministry officials for alleged misappropriation of power to the tune of N12 million

The Federal Commission for Investigation of Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences (ICPC) has indicted two individuals, a Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment official, Ndubuisi Joy Sheneme, and a Federal Ministry of Works and Housing official, Godwin Thabo Takat, on charges bordering on bribery by fraud and employment fraud.

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The ICPC, sitting in suit No. CR/243/2024 filed before the 31st Judge of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, Justice CO Oba, Apo, Abuja, accused the defendants of defrauding unsuspecting job seekers to the tune of over 12 million naira.

The ICPC has indicted the defendants on nine counts for allegedly colluding to obtain the above amounts from the victims through false representations.

According to ICPC lawyers, Nura Saidoo violated Section 1 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Fraud Offences Act 2006, Section 18(d) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000 and Section 363 of the Penal Code 1990.

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One of the charges reads: “That Godwin Sabo Takat (male), being an employee of the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, at the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, between about January and June 2018, with intent to defraud, deceived one Ndubuisi Joy Chineme into benefiting you by paying the sum of Four Hundred and Thirty Thousand Naira (N4,530,000.00K) into your First Bank Account in return for securing employment for unsuspecting jobseekers in the Federal Civil Service, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 1(2) and Section 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006.”

However, after the charges were read out at trial, the defendants pleaded not guilty to all nine charges.

Following the plea, the presiding judge asked the ICPC's legal team whether they were ready for the trial proceedings, but the prosecution team requested the court to postpone the case so that they could be fully prepared for the start of the trial, and the legal team did not object.

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Lawyers for the two defendants, Mr EE Ogale and Mr IO Nweze, filed separate bail applications, pleading with the judge to grant their clients bail on very lenient terms pending the completion of their trials.

Saidoo, the ICPC lawyer, did not oppose the bail application made by the lawyers for the accused.

Justice Oba then granted bail to the defendants in the sum of N2 million with two sureties each, who must have N20 million in their accounts and own two pieces of land in the capital region, to be verified by the court.

The judge ordered the accused to be detained at Suleja Correctional Centre and Kuje Correctional Centre until the bail conditions are met.

The judge then adjourned the case until January 13, 2025 for the trial to begin.


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