The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission has arrested Victor Igboanugo, a director in the Federal Ministry of Education.
The Civil Servant was arrested for purchasing a property worth $140,000 in the United States of America and collecting bribe worth millions of Naira.
Igboanugo, while arraigned before Justice V. B. Ashi of the Federal Capital Territory High Court sitting in Apo, Abuja, was also accused of using his office to commit fraud worth N162m.
ICPC told the court that the accused while acting as the Deputy Director of Procurement at the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, purchased the property in US, which cost is above his pay grade.
The commission in a statement through its spokesperson, Rasheedat Okoduwa stated that, “The accused is being arraigned for alleged contract fraud to the tune of N162m and ownership of a property valued way above his legitimate income.”
“Mr Igboanugo, who had worked at various times in the ministries of Environment and Niger Delta Affairs, is facing 17 counts before Justice Ashi of the Federal Capital Territory High Court 23, Apo, Abuja.”
Igboanugo was accused of abuse of office and conferring undue advantage upon himself.
The commission stated that the crime contravened sections 10, 12 and 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000, and were punishable under the same sections.
The counsel for the ICPC, Henry Emore, told the court that Igboanugo, while being the Secretary of the Ministerial Tenders’ Board at the Ministry of Environment, facilitated the award of multiple contracts to private companies where he held personal interests.
“He was further accused of receiving N20m kickback through one of his companies, Phinavic Ventures Limited, from the Chief Executive Officer of Lufem Engineering Limited, Mr Asiwaju Adekanbi, after the award of a contract for the construction of a skills acquisition centre.”
“That you, Victor Igboanugo, sometime in October 2008 or thereabout in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, while being a public officer, used your position as Deputy Director and Secretary of the Ministerial Tenders’ Board of the Federal Ministry of Environment to confer corrupt advantage upon yourself by awarding a contract for the construction of a three-bedroom semi-detached bungalow at the Prototype Housing Scheme, Asaba, Delta State, to your company, Echedom Technical & Trading Company Limited for a contract sum of N10.5m, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.”
The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges and his counsel put in an application for bail, which was not opposed by the counsel for ICPC.
The application was granted by Justice Ashi in the sum of N2m with one surety in like sum, who must be an officer not below Grade Level 14 in the Federal Civil Service.
The case was adjourned till June 19, 2019, for trial.