AGF to arraign 5 National Theatre directors over corruption allegations

AGF to arraign 5 National Theatre directors over corruption allegations

- The AGF’s office has charged five directors of the National Theatre to court over N500,000 received fraudulently

- The case was however stalled by one of the accused who was reported to have suddenly taken ill

- Since the other defendants could not be arraigned in her absence, the presiding judge adjourned the matter till May 14

Five directors of the National Theatre have been charged to court by the Office of the Attorney General, for allegedly receiving N500,000 each from Market Execution Solutions Ltd, a federal government contractor, Punch reports.

The accused were charged before Justice Muslim Hassan of the Lagos division of the Federal High Court.

NAIJ.com gathers that the prosecutor said the accused - George Ukanta, Abiodun Abe, Femi Joel, Ndubuisi Nwogu and Doris Okafor - accepted the money “on account of transactions entered into on behalf of the federal government” with the contractor in the discharge of their duties, on January 16, 2018.

They were said to have violated Section 10(1)(2) of the Code of Conduct Act and are liable to punishment under sections 1 (2) and 10 (1) (a) of the Recovery of Public Property (Special Provisions) Act.

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However, one of the accused, Doris Okafor, was absent on Monday, April 23, causing the arraignment to be stalled. Her lawyer, Mohammed Adamu, disclosed that she had been present on Monday but suddenly took ill and had to be rushed to the military hospital in Ikoyi, as she was married to a military officer.

He said: “She was admitted at the military hospital. A medical report is here. It was just brought by two soldiers. I apply that the case be adjourned to enable her to be present for her arraignment."

However, the prosecutor, Dr Celsus Ukpong, said that the federal government had made unsuccessful attempts to serve Okafor with the charge, pointing out that she had a habit of jumping bail. He said if not for her lawyer’s willingness to accept the charge on her behalf, he would have applied for a bench warrant.

He stated: “She has been evading service. The medical report may be a subterfuge to evade service.”

Since the other defendants could not be arraigned in Okafor’s absence, the presiding judge adjourned the matter till May 14.

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Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that Nigeria's attorney general and minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), wrote to the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) over case files of lingering high profile corruption cases.

This was disclosed by the senior special assistant to the president on prosecutions, Okoi Obono-Obla. According to him, high profile cases being prosecuted by the agencies had not yielded the desired results.

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Source: Naija.ng

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