REA Scam: Ugbane, Ndudi Back On The Burner As EFCC Re-Arraigns 6
ABUJA, Oct 12, (THEWILL) – If there is one thing the trio of former Senate Committee Chairman on Power, Senator Nicholas Yahaya Ugbane; current members of the House of Representatives, Honourable Godwin Ndudi Elumelu and Honourable Jibo Mohammed would wish to go away for ever, it is their indictment and prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for various criminal offences including fraud, conspiracy, money laundering and criminal breach of trust following their alleged involvement in siphoning more than N5 billion naira from government coffers under the guise of proving electricity to their constituencies.
After various unsuccessful attempts to have their trial quashed, the legislators will be re-arraigned in court on October 21, 2010 before Justice Adebukola Banjoko.
Having vowed to bring all suspects to justice, the EFCC today at a Federal High Court in Abuja re-arraigned six senior officials of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) on an amended 64-count charge bordering on criminal conspiracy and fraud.
The six officials are the Managing Director of the REA, Mr. Samuel Gakpe, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Power, Dr. Abdullahi Aliyu; Mr. Simon Nanley; Engr. Lawrence Orekoya; Abdulsalami Jahun Garba and Barrister Kayode Oyedeji, all Directors of the agency.
They all pled ‘Not Guilty’ to all charges and were granted bail.
Justice Banjoko thereafter acceded to their request for a speedy trial and ordered definite hearing to begin on November 03, 2010.
The officials are accused of aiding the legislators by fraudulently withdrawing funds from the agency’s account with the central bank under the guise of paying contractors for projects executed in the electrification project whereas the companies being paid according to the EFCC were phoney companies allegedly hurriedly registered by Honourable Godwin Ndudi Elumelu to absorb the funds and share amongst all the parties involved in the scam.
Over 60 companies were used according to the EFCC. Some of the companies are Cambra Heights Investment Company Limited, Oliza Investment Limited, Construction Affairs Limited and Alistar Trading Limited amongst others.
THEWILL gathered that the magnitude of theft of government funds by the indicted legislators prompted campaigns by the Chairman of the EFCC, Mrs. Farida Waziri, to ensure that political parties do not present indicted persons as candidates for elective offices.