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Two Federal officials detained for obstruction of justice over 12 million naira

The Federal Capital Territory High Court sitting in Apo has ordered the remand of the Federal Minister of Trade and Investment, Ndubuisi Chineme, and the Federal Minister of Works and Housing, Godwin Takat, on charges bordering on obtaining by fraud and employment fraud.

The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences, ICPC, Charge No. CR/243/2024, filed before Justice CO Oba, accused the defendants of defrauding unsuspecting job seekers of over N12,000,000.

In a nine-count charge, the ICPC accused the defendants of acting together to obtain the above amounts from the victims under false pretenses.

According to ICPC lawyer Nura Saidoo, their actions violate 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.

The defendants pleaded not guilty to all nine charges after the indictment was read to them.

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

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 plots of land in the capital, to be verified by the court.

The judge also ordered that the accused 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 start of the trial.


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