The Deputy Speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly, Honourable Christopher Adaji and the Clerk of the House of Assembly, Mr Torese Agena, are currently in a mess as they have been dragged to court for using a non-existing tour of Europe to commit fraud running into N5 million.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) dragged the two men before Justice S. O. Itodo of the Benue State High Court, Makurdi, on a two-count charges bordering on conspiracy, bribery, criminal breach of trust and abuse of office.
According to the anti-graft agency in a statement on Thursday, June 18, the duo are standing trial for their complicity in an alleged fraud totalling N5,040,950.
The first count against them read: “That you, Torese Agena, on 18th day of October, 2019 being Clerk, Benue State House of Assembly, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did use your position to confer unfair advantage to yourself as bribe, to tune of N200,000 from N5,000,000 payable to High Profile Investment Nigeria Limited by the Benue State government for the Benue State House of Assembly legislative tour to European countries and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and punishable under the same Act.”
storyThe second count against them read: “That you Christopher Adaji, between 8th and 14th of November, 2019 within the jurisdiction of this court spent the sum of N4,840,950 the funds allocated to you for European legislative tour on your legal and other services and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 22(5) of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.”
After their “no guilty” plea, prosecution counsel, G. G. Chia-Yakua, asked the court for a date for the commencement of trial and also sought an order of the court to remand the defendants in Nigeria Correctional Services (NCS).
Justice Itodo admitted them to bail on self-recognition and thereafter adjourned the case till July 6, 7, and 8, 2020 for the commencement of trial.
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