TheNigerianVoice Online Radio Center

N25bn Fraud: Igbinedion Faces Trial In Benin Today

Source: huhuonline.com
Click for Full Image Size
Listen to article

The trial of former Governor of Edo State, Chief Lucky Igbinedion and six others, over an alleged N25billion fraud by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) begins today at the Federal High Court, Benin. Michael, brother of the ex-governor and Patrick Eboigbodin were arrested on Monday by the EFCC ahead of their arraignment at the Federal High Court, in Benin. Others are GAVA Corporation Limited, ROMRIG Nigeria Limited, PML Securities Company Limited and PML (Nigeria) Limited.  

  The suspects are to face a 66-count charge for alleged money laundering and diversion of funds from Local Government Joint Allocation Account.  

  According to Mr. Femi Babafemi, EFCC's Head of Media and Publicity, 'The matter will proceed as planned at the court on Tuesday (today).'  

  Recall that the Federal High Court, Enugu had on December 17, 2008 convicted the former Edo governor on a 24-count charge of alleged corrupt practices, where he was fined him N3.5 million by Justice Abdul Kafarati and three of his properties seized.  

  The EFCC had appealed the judgment, when 23 of the 24 charges were against Kiva Corporation Limited, and made to refund N500 million. The anti-graft commission posited the Enugu verdict fell short of its expectations.  

  Among today's 66-count charges against the former governor are, 'That you Lucky Nosakhare Igbinedion and Patrick Eboigbodin between April and May 2007 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did convert N250milion which you illegally derived from the Local Government Joint Allocation Account (JAAC) Edo State on the pretence that the said amount was for the provision of security during the 2007 Local Government Election in Edo State (which election never took place) and you converted the said funds with the aim of concealing the illicit origin of the funds and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 14 (1) (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2004.  

  'That you Lucky Nosakhare Igbinedion between April and May 2007 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did convert N287million to the use of Hon. Fred Okiye (the then Deputy Speaker Edo State House of Assembly) which you illegally derived from the Local Government Joint Allocation Account (JAAC) Edo State on the pretence that the money was for the payment of the Youth Empowerment Programme and you converted the said fund with the aim of concealing the illicit origin of the funds and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 14 (1) (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2004.  

  'That you ROMRIG NIGERIA LTD and Michael Igbinedion on or about 11th June, 2003 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did retain in your account, on behalf of Lucky Nosakhare Igbinedion N500million which sum you knew formed part of the funds illegally withdrawn from the account of the Edo State Government and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 16 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2003.  

  'That you Lucky Nosakhare Igbinedion on or about 26th February, 2004 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did procure Gava Corporation Limited (a company owned by you and other members of your family)    to retain in its account, N60million which sum formed part of the funds illegally withdrawn from the account of the Edo State Government and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 17 and punishable under Section 16 of Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2003.  

  'That you Lucky Nosakhare Igbinedion on or about 15th July, 2004 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did procure Gava Corporation Limited (a company owned by you and other members of your family) to retain in its account, an aggregate sum of N55, 307, 800 which sum formed part of the funds illegally withdrawn from the account of the Edo State Government and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 17 and punishable under Section 16 of   Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2004.'