Court Remands Two REA Staff Pending N1.8b Fraud Allegation Hearing

Kuni Tyessi in Abuja

The Federal High Court in Abuja yesterday remanded two staff members of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) pending the hearing of a N1.835 billion fraud allegation.

The two members of staff, Umar Musa Karaye and Emmanuel Pada Titus, had been benched following their non-appearance during their arraignment earlier scheduled for June 6, 2024, alleging N165million and N261million fraud allegation respectively.

The two staff members, including two others, had been arraigned by the Independent and Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, (ICPC) before Justice Emeka Nwite over alleged fraud, criminal conspiracy and diversion of public funds amounting to the sum of N1.835 billion only negating due process.

Dr Osuoben Ekoi Akpanimisingha, assistant chief legal officer of the (ICPC), during the arraignment, had recalled that the defendants, who had been personally served by him to appear before the court on June 6, 2024, had deliberately failed to appear, despite having full details of their arraignments by the commission.

In the four count charges obtained by the media, the anti-graft agency accused the defendants of receiving the sums of N165million  and N261million respectively in different tranches under the false presence of project supervision thereby committed an offence contrary to the Advanced Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006.

The court adjourned the case to June 20 for bail hearing and July 10 for commencement of trials respectively.

Recall that in March 2024, President Bola Tinubu suspended Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad, managing director and chief executive of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) indefinitely, and others.

The suspension followed an investigation into the financial activities of the Rural Electrification Agency and diversion of N1.2billion into personal accounts.

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