The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Monday arraigned the duo of Peter Ojedele and Ali Ahmadu, former Director General and Bursar of the National Institute for Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA) respectively.
They were brought before Justice Abdul Dogo of the Federal High Court sitting in Akure, Ondo State on a nine-count charge bordering on forgery and obtaining money under false pretence.
The offence is contrary to Section 16 (1) (b) and punishable under Section 58 (5) (a) of the Public Procurement Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria.
The duo in their capacity as Director General and Bursar of the National Institute for Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA) respectively, allegedly received over N208 million from the federal government as Personnel Funds in 2011 and 2012 but never remitted the excess fund into government treasury.
It was also alleged that the defendants claimed to have liaison offices in most states of the federation whereas none is functional while some have no traceable addresses yet funds were drawn for office rentage.
Investigations however revealed that the budgetary proposals for the Institute for the year 2011 and 2012 included some fake names of staff on the Institute’s payroll. Also, the defendants inflated the price of the DVD duplicator they purchased for the institution.
When the charge was read to the defendants, they pleaded not guilty.
In view of their plea, the EFCC counsel, Cosmas Igwu, applied for a trial date and urged the court to remand the defendants in prison custody. However, counsel to the first defendant, Abel Kosoko, and counsel to the second defendant, Olushola Oke, both prayed the court to allow them move oral applications for bail.
Justice Dogo, however, refused the defence prayers to move an oral application for bail and ordered that the defendants be remanded in the EFCC custody pending the hearing of their bail applications.
The case was adjourned to May 18, 2018 for hearing of the bail application and June 25, 26 for trial.
One of the charge reads: “That you Dr. Peter Kolawole Ojedele and Ali Ahmadu whilst acting in your capacity as Public Officers, to wit: Director-General and Bursar respectively, of the National Institute for Educational Planning and Administration, Ondo, Ondo State sometime in 2012 at Ondo within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with intent to defraud obtained the sum of N115,380,488.24 (One Hundred and Fifteen Million, Three Hundred and Eighty Thousand, Four Hundred and Eighty Eight Naira, Twenty Four Kobo) only from the Federal Government of Nigeria under the false pretence that the sum was for staff emolument for year 2012 which pretence you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, 2006.”