Ekiti N27.5m Scandal - EFCC Drags 3 Commissioners to court

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Ekiti N27.5m Scandal - EFCC Drags 3 Commissioners to court

Postby Richard Akindele » Wed Aug 23, 2006 6:30 pm

ECONOMIC and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday brought a 12-count charge of alleged concealment of fact against three commissioners in Ekiti State.

The commissioners who included Chief Boboye Olanipekun, Agriculture, Mr Kayode Osho, Works and Mr Richard Toyin Ojo, Finance, would, according to the EFCC, be arraigned at the Federal High Court, Lagos.

To be arraigned with them is the chief executive of Biological Concepts Nigeria Limited, Mr Gbenga James who is already facing trial at a Federal High Court Lagos.

According to the charge sheet made available to newsmen yesterday, the five were alleged to have concealed the genuine origin of about N27.5 million being part of the amount meant for the Ekiti State Integrated Poultry Project Scheme.

Chief Olanipekun was alleged to have collaborated with Gbenga James and his company on September 29, 2005 in Ado Ekiti to conceal about N2.5 million which formed part of the money entrusted by the Ekiti State government in the hands of the company being a consultant to the government in respect of the said poultry project scheme.

Osho, the charge said on February 10, 2005, did collaborate with Biological Concepts and Gbenga James to conceal the origin of about N8.5 million also for the poultry scheme.

The commissioner for Finance, Ojo, also was accused of collaborating with the duo to conceal the origin of about N700,000 which was part of the money meant for the government's poultry project.

It would be recalled that Gbenga James is currently standing trial on various money laundering offences alongside his two companies Biological Concepts Nigeria Limited and Avian Specialities Nigeria Limited, at a Federal High Court before Justice Tijani Abubakar in Lagos.

James, a contractor handling the Ekiti State Poultry Project and Governor Ayo Fayose's associate was on August 1, 2006 arraigned alongside with the governor's personal assistant on a 15-count charge on money laundering offences.

He was accused, according to the charge, to have either criminally converted, transferred, expended or collaborated with the governor's aide to unlawfully expend millions of naira meant for the execution of the Ekiti State poultry project.

Specifically, the charge alleged that about N10.50 million which was meant for the poultry project was used in the construction of the governor's house in Ibadan.

He was also alleged to have transferred N4 million from the project fund to one of his companies, Avian Specialities Nigeria Limited on September 4, 2004, and also on April 24 of the same year transferred N55,636,171.15 to the same company.

Among other charges, he was allegedly to also have sometime in 2004 transferred the sum of N7 million, converted it to 37,600 pounds and gave same to Governor Fayose and his personal assistant, Goke Olatunji.

The contractor pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against him just as his lawyer, Mallam Yusuf Ali (SAN) filed and argued a bail application on his behalf having being in the EFCC and prison custody since July 2004.

He was consequently granted bail on Monday by Justice Abubakar.

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