Ortom’s aides nabbed over N4.7billion fraud

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.

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