ICPC arraigns Rector, Bursar over N6m fraud

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has arraigned the Rector and the Acting Bursar of the International Institute of Tourism and Hospitality, Yenagoa in Bayelsa State, Samuel Timi Johnson and Werepere Martins Degbegha, respectively, before the High Court sitting in the state capital over their involvement in a N6 million fraud.

Also arraigned before the court was Yerikema Tony Tombra.

According to a statement issued on Wednesday by the ICPC spokesperson, Azuka Ogugua, the defendants were arraigned before Justice M.A Ayemieye on allegations bordering on “using office to confer corrupt advantage, conspiracy, and making false statement.”

The ICPC, in a seven-count charge, accused the Rector and the Acting Bursar of “conspiring and using their offices to confer corrupt advantage on themselves when they withdrew the above sum from the confers of the institute under the guise of spending the money on renovations of a viewing centre in Tropani Community while investigation revealed otherwise.”

“On the other hand, Yerikema Tony Tombra is standing trial for knowingly making a false statement to an officer of the Commission in the course of exercising his duties when he (Tombra) stated that he was not in the office whereas he was actually in office,” the commission added.

According to the ICPC, the defendants’ offences are contrary to and punishable under sections 19, 25 and 26 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.

The accused persons, however, pleaded not guilty to all the charges when they were read to them.

They also pleaded for the court to grant them bail in the conditions that ICPC had earlier granted them in administrative bail which was not opposed by counsel to ICPC.

The defendants were admitted to bail under the condition that their counsel entered an undertaking to provide them in court to face their trial.

Justice Ayemieye, therefore, adjourned the matter till January 30, 2023, for commencement of hearing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow by Email