ICPC CHARGES HEALTH MINISTER WITH GRAFT

By NBF News
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THE Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) yesterday at the Federal High Court, Yola Division filed an eight-count charge against the Minister of State for Health, Suleiman Bello, for allegedly collecting a N1.2million bribe from the Adamawa State governor.

Meanwhile, The Guardian learnt that Bello is under pressure from the Presidency to resign so as not to taint government's image.  A source in the Presidency said although he is considered innocent until otherwise proven, the government would rather he stepped aside until the matter was resolved. Bello may be arraigned next Monday.

According to the charge sheet, the minister received the bribe in the course of his duty as Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Adamawa State during the 2007 general elections. The ICPC alleged that Bello 'unlawfully solicited from the Governor of Adamawa State, N11, 245,000 as 'hardship allowance'

The charges against the Minister are as follows:
'That you Suleiman Bello on or about July 2007 while being the Resident Electoral Commissioner of Adamawa State made a false statement to a public officer in the exercise of the duties of his office to wit: soliciting for N11,245,000 as 'hardship allowance' from the Governor of Adamawa State which was to your knowledge false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 25(1)(a) and punishable under Section 25(1)(b) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.

• 'That you Suleiman Bello on or about July 2007 while being a public officer did use your position as the Resident Electoral Commissioner of Adamawa State to confer a corrupt advantage upon yourself when you unlawfully solicited from the Governor of Adamawa State soliciting for N11, 245,000 as 'hardship allowance' out of which you collected N750, 000 and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.

• 'That you Suleiman Bello on or about July 2007 while being a public officer did use your position as the Resident Electoral Commissioner of Adamawa State to confer a corrupt advantage upon yourself when you unlawfully solicited from the Governor of Adamawa State soliciting for N11,245,000 as 'hardship allowance' out of which M.S. Na'Allah, an official of INEC in Adamawa State office collected N500,000 and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.

•'That you Suleiman Bello on or about July 2007 while being a public officer did use your position as the Resident Electoral Commissioner of Adamawa State to confer a corrupt advantage upon yourself when you unlawfully solicited from the Governor of Adamawa State soliciting for N11,245,000 as 'hardship allowance' out of which Ibrahim Mamman, an official of INEC in Adamawa State office collected N250,000 and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.