ICPC Arraigns NDDC Director Over Alleged N45m Fraud

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The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) has arraigned Solomon Okpa Ita, a director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), over alleged diversion of N45 million.

He was arraigned on Tuesday before Zainab Abubakar, a justice of the federal high court in Abuja.

Ita, identified as a director in the department of community and rural development of NDDC, was arraigned on a four-count charge.

According to NAN, in the charge marked FHC/ABJ/CR/110/2022, Ita was alleged to have diverted part of the funds paid for a contract awarded to a group, Radiant Women Association.

ICPC Arraigns NDDC Director Over Alleged N45m Fraud

Osuobeni Akponimsingha, the ICPC counsel, said in September 2018, Ita indirectly took possession of the sum of N22,400,000 through his First City Monument Bank (FCMB) with account number 0542393012, received from the Zenith Bank account of one Solomon Eyarebe & Ebikebina.

The fund was said to form part of the payment of the N45,000,000 made to Radiant Women Association for a “purported contract to wit”, ‘Workshop for Youth Restiveness in Cross River State’, awarded by NDDC through Ita’s department.

His alleged offence is said to be contrary to section 15(2)(d) and punishable under section 15(3) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended).

In a separate arraignment, also on Tuesday and before the same judge, one Gabriel Nathaniel, identified as a staff in the accounts department of the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC), was accused of diverting N3 billion between 2015 and 2019.

They both pleaded not guilty.

After their plea, the judge granted Ita bail in the sum of N50 million, with one surety who must own a property within Abuja, while the certificate of occupancy of the property, which should be verified by the registrar, would be deposited at the court registry.

The judge also ordered that Ita be remanded in the custody of the ICPC pending when he meets the bail condition.

The NDDC director’s matter was, thereafter, adjourned till October 25 for trial.

Meanwhile, the hearing of Nathaniel’s bail plea has been fixed for Wednesday.

Source: The Cable