Police arraign former NITDA DG over alleged N50m contract scam

A former Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mr Peter Jack, was on Friday arraigned before an Abuja Magistrates Court, sitting at Mpape.

Jack, who was NITDA DG between April 7, 2014 and January 20, 2016, was dragged before the court by the police over an alleged N50 million contract scam.

The former DG, whose address was given as No. 17, Gana Street, Maitama, Abuja, was arraigned on a two-count charge bordering on criminal breach of trust and cheating.

According to the police prosecutor, Joshua Ayanna, one Tunde Ajala had sometimes in 2015,  transferred the sum of N50 million  to the defendant as an upfront payment with a view  to awarding him (Ajala) a contract worth the sum of N1 billion.

The police alleged that  the contract was never awarded, adding that Jack converted the money to his personal use and every effort made to recover it proved abortive.

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The offence allegedly committed by the former NITDA boss, according to the prosecution, contravened the provisions of Sections 312 and 322 of the Penal Code.

Jack, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge when read to him.

Following his not guilty plea, his counsel, David Amana, moved for his bail and urged the court to grant him bail.

Ruling on the bail application, the Magistrate, Muhammed Zubairu, admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N5 million with one surety in like sum.

He then adjourned the case till November 15 for hearing.

Jack was appointed by former President Goodluck Jonathan as NITDA DG for an initial four-year tenure in 2014 but was suspended from office by the immediate past Minister of Communications, Barrister Adebayo Shittu, over allegations of illegal employments and procurement carried out in direct contraventions of laid down rules and unknown procedure to civil service administration in the country.

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