Benue Deputy Speaker, Clerk Arraigned For N5m Fraud | CABLE REPORTERS

Deputy speaker of Benue state House of assembly, Christopher Adaji, and Clerk of the Assembly, Torese Agana, has been arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Makurdi Zonal Office, on Wednesday, June 17, 2020,  before Justice S. O. Itodo of the Benue State High Court, Makurdi, for their complicity in an alleged fraud totaling N5, 040,950.

They were arraigned on a two-count charge bordering on conspiracy, bribery, criminal breach of trust, and abuse of office.

They pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to them.

Count one reads, “That you, Torese Agena, on 18th day of October 2019 being Clerk, Benue State House of Assembly, within the jurisdiction of this honorable court, did use your position to confer an unfair advantage to yourself as a bribe, to the tune of N200, 000 (Two Hundred thousand naira only) from N50, 000, 000 (Fifty Million Naira) payable to High Profile Investment Nigeria Limited by the Benue State Government for the Benue State House of Assembly legislative tour to European countries, and thereby committed an offense contrary to Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and punishable under the same Act." 

Count two reads, "That you Christopher Adaji between 8th - 14 of November 2019 within the jurisdiction of this honorable Court spent the sum of N4, 840, 950 (Four Million, Eight Hundred and Forty Thousand, Nine Hundred and Fifty Naira only) the funds allocated to you for European legislative tour on your legal and other services and thereby committed an offense contrary to Section 22(5) of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000."

After their no guilty plea, prosecution counsel, G. G. Chia-Yakuza, asked the court for a date for the commencement of trial and also sought an order of the court to remand the defendants in a Nigeria Correctional Services center. 

However, the defense counsel prayed the court to grant them bail on liberal terms or on self-recognizance, adding that they would always be available in court to face trial.

Justice Itodo admitted them to bail on self-recognizance and thereafter adjourned the case until July 6, 7, and 8, 2020, for the commencement of trial.


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