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UBEC Scam: You Must Face Trial, Court Tells Sokan, Others

Source: EWACHE AJEFU, ABUJA BUREAU CHIEF - thewillnigeria.com


San Francisco, July 22, (THEWILL) - A Federal High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja has ruled that former Executive Secretary, Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC, Prof. Bridget Omotunde Sokan and three directors facing trial on a 63 count charge, bordering on fraudulent inducement, criminal conspiracy and subversion of due processes in the award of contracts among others, have a case to answer and should be ready to face trial.

Justice Adamu Bello gave this ruling on Thursday, July 22nd, 2010, while dismissing an application brought before him by the accused persons praying the court to quash the charges levelled against them. The other accused persons are: Molkat Manasseh Mutfwang, Michael Mtonga Aule and Dr Andrew Ekpunobi. Three other firms: Intermarkets USA; Intermarkets Nigeria Limited and Alexander John Cozman, a foreign contractor who is also standing trial with them.

Sokan and his co-accused had sought the quashing of all the charges preferred against them, saying that the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the suit instituted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. They also claimed that the proof of evidence did not establish a prima facie case against them.

However, Justice Bello, in his ruling stated that as far as the proof of evidence before him was concerned "there is sufficient evidence for the accused persons to face trial" He therefore, adjourned the case to November 29 and 30, 2010 for continuation of trial.