A’Court to Hear ICPC’s Case against Imo APC’s Rep Candidate February 13

Alex Enumah in Abuja 

The Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal has fixed February 13 for hearing in the case brought by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission ( ICPC) against the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for Ideato Federal Constituency, Benson Abazu. 

 The ICPC in the appeal is specifically asking the appellate court to upturn the judgment of the High Court which upheld the no-case submission earlier given in favour of the APC candidate. 

The anti-corruption agency in the appeal marked: 786/2019, predicated its case on three grounds wherein it argued that the trial court erred in holding that it failed to substantiate its charges of corruption against the APC House of Representatives candidate.

Meanwhile, all the records of proceedings at the trial court have been transmitted to the Court of Appeal.

ICPC therefore asked the appellate court to upturn the High Court ruling in favour of Abazu and subsequently convict him of the corruption charges levelled against him.

In a copy of the six-count charge filed at the High Court and which was sighted by THISDAY, the ICPC alleged in count one that Abazu on April 14, 2014, while being a public officer, asked for and received the sum of N10,000,000:00 from a contractor as gratification thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 10(a)(i) of the ICPC Act which is punishable with imprisonment of seven years.

The contractor, who testified, said that Abazu informed him that the N10,000,000:00 bribe was for the “First Lady”.

The proof of evidence attached by the ICPC further showed that while still a public servant and against the code of conduct for public officers, Abazu registered the company Transtell Nigeria Limited through which he collected the bribes and was the sole signatory to the account of the company.

In counts three and six, the anti-corruption agency also alleged that Abazu also asked for and received of N4,000,000:00 and N3,000,000:00 respectively from the same contractor. 

It said the emboldened Abazu even collected the last N3,000,000:00 in his private account with the United Bank for Africa (UBA). 

The commission further alleged that when the said contractor could not complete the N23,000,000:00 bribe demanded of him, Abazu, who then was a Special Assistant to the Director General, used his office to arbitrarily terminate the contract. 

Related Articles