The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other-Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has arraigned Stephen Amase, the principal private secretary to Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom, and a former Commissioner for Works, Mr. Manger T Emmanuel, over alleged N4.7billion fraud.
The suspects were charged before Justice S.O Itodo of the Benue State High Court in Makurdi.
In a statement Sunday, the ICPC Spokesperson, Mrs. Rasheedat Okoduwa, said: “The suspects were arraigned for conferring unfair advantage upon themselves and for holding indirect private interests in a contract valued at N4,766,858,449.63.”
The offence which was committed in March 2016 contravenes Sections 12 and 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.
According to the statement, Amase used his position as Ortom’s principal private secretary, “to secure the N4,766,858,445.63 contract to Tongyi New International Construction Limited from the government he is serving, thereby committing an offence contrary to and punishable under section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.”
It quoted the ICPC Prosecution Counsel , Mr. G. O Iwuagwu, as telling the court that Emmanuel conspired with Amase to award the contract by misleading the State Tenders Board and State Executive Council.
After the accused persons pleaded not guilty, the Defence counsel, Mr. C. A. K. Asheka (SAN) ,made application for their bail, which was not opposed by the prosecution counsel.