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N1.3bn Fraud: Court warns Ex-NFF Officials against delay of trial

Source: pointblanknews.com
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A Federal High Court in Maitama, Abuja, on Wednesday February 16th , 2011, warned the quartet of Sani Lulu Abdulahi;  Amanze Uchegbulam ;  Dr. Bolaji Ojo-Oba  and Taiwo Ogunjobi, all  former executive members of the Nigeria Football Federation to desist from bringing frivolous applications aimed at delaying the trial instituted against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

   The Presiding Judge, Justice Donatus Okorowa gave the warning as a result of  a motion brought by 1st accused person, Sani Lulu, through his counsel, S.I Ameh, praying the court for extension of time to file his written address on the motion earlier brought which challenged the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the suit.

  The EFCC counsel, Olasupo Ashaolu, SAN, opposed the motion, saying that it was a ploy to delay trial and as such a violation of the orders of the court. He added that the accused persons were  at the last hearing given ten days to file their written addresses with effect from January 20th , 2011. He therefore wondered why the accused persons would return with an application seeking for an  extension of time.

  Justice Donatus Okorowa, while aligning with the position of the prosecution counsel, expressed dismay at the accused persons, warning them to desist from bringing frivolous applications to stall trial.  Justice Okorowa granted the prayer of Ameh on the need for an accelerated hearing saying it was for the sake of fair hearing. The case was adjourned till February 25, 2011.

Lulu, Uchegbulam, Ojo-Oba, and Ogunjobi were arrested by EFCC on June 7, 2010 but granted administrative bail. They were, however, rearrested by the commission's operatives on Monday September 6, 2010. They were arraigned on Tuesday, September 7, 2010, but admitted to bail in the sum of N100m each with two sureties.  

 
Count one of the 10 count charge against them reads that “That you Sani Lulu Abdulahi {M}, Amanze Uchegbulam {M}, Dr. Bolaji Ojo-Oba{M} and Taiwo Ogunjobi{M}, on or about the month of February, 2009, in the office of the Nigeria Football Federation in Abuja, within the Abuja judicial division of the Federal High Court, while being Board members of the Nigeria Football Federation, conspired to commit an offence of felony to wit: refusing to follow due process by not requesting for quotations from suppliers, but rather without legal jurisdiction opted for the emergency procurement procedure in the procurement of 2 nos Mercedes Benz Irizar buses and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 518{1} and {7} of the Criminal Code Act cap 38, Laws of the Federation, 2004”.

Count two reads “That you Sani Lulu Abdulahi {M}, Amanze Uchegbulam {M}, Dr. Bolaji Ojo-Oba {M} and Taiwo Ogunjobi {M}, on or about the month of December, 2008, while being Board and Executive members of the Nigeria Football Federation, in office of the Nigeria Football Federation in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, within the Abuja judicial division of the Federal High Court, did breach Public Procurement procedures to wit: refusing to follow due procurement  procedures by not requesting for quotations from suppliers in the procurement of 2 nos Mercedes Benz Marcopolo buses but rather without legal justification opted for emergency procurement in awarding the contract to CNBC Nigeria Limited, thereby committed an offence contrary to section 4 and punishable under Section 58 of the Public Procurement Act No. 14. 2007”.

Count three states that “That you Sani Lulu Abdulahi {M}, Amanze Uchegbulam {M}, Dr. Bolaji Ojo-Oba {M} and Taiwo Ogunjobi {M}, on or about the month of December, 2008, while being Board and Executive members of the Nigeria Football Federation, in office of the Nigeria Football Federation in the federal Capital Territory, Abuja, within the Abuja judicial division of the Federal High Court, did breach Public Procurement procedures to wit: approving the payment of the sum of N82, 000,000          {Eighty Two Million Naira}, as part payment for the supply of 2 nos Mercedes Benz Marcopolo buses, over and above the maximum payment limit of 15 % of the value of the contract sum as mobilization to CNBC Nigeria Limited, thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 35 and punishable under Section of the Public Procurement Act No. 14, 2007”.