By Adebiyi Adedapo
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) will on June 28 arraign the former Inspector General of Police (IG), Mr Sunday Gabriel Ehindero, and a former Commissioner of Police in charge of budget, Mr. John Obaniyi, over allegation of fraud amounting to N557 million.
The commission had gotten leave of the court to arraign the duo.
Presiding judge in the case, Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi of the Abuja High Court, said the accused persons must be present on the said date to take his charge.
The matter was slated for Wednesday but the arraignment was stalled as Ehindero was absent from court.
The former IG, who was spotted at the court premises at about 8:13a.m, was nowhere to be found when the court began its sitting about 10:49a.m.
However, his lawyer, Eyitayo Oladipo Tella, claimed that his client was not aware of the matter as he was not served with the court processes. He stated that the prosecuting counsel neither served the accused person nor his lawyer the court process, saying he was in court based on reports in the media.
“It could not be said the prosecutor had done what he ought to do,” he said.
However, ICPC, through its counsel, Mr. Elijah Akaakohol, told the court that they had difficulties tracking down the former IG to effect personal service on him as prescribed by the law.
Ehindero and Obaniyi were alleged to have conspired between the months of May and November 2006 using their positions to confer corrupt advantages upon themselves by placing the sum of N300 million out of the N558 million donated to the Nigeria Police Force by the Bayelsa State Government for the procurement of arms, ammunition and riot control equipment in a fixed deposit account at Wema Bank Plc where it yielded an interest of N9.8 million for them.
Akaakohol stated that they tried locating Ehindero at his chambers within the Central Business District of Abuja metropolis but were told by a lawyer in his chambers that the former IG swas attending a Bar Conference in Asaba, the Delta state capital.
Furthermore, he told the court that one Mr. Olufemi Ogunleye who works for Ehindero at his office tacitly collected the charge and signed for it on Ehindero’s behalf but noted that it was not proper as it had to be a personal service on the ex-police boss himself.
Justice Oniyangi posited that since personal service had not been effected on the accused persons as the law stipulates, the court will adjourn for the arraignment to take place. He directed the ICPC to execute personal service on the accused before the next adjourned date of June 28.
Ehindero and Obaniyi were also alleged to have placed another N200 million out of the Bayelsa state Government donation to the Force in a fixed deposit account at Intercontinental Bank Plc where an interest of N6.5 million was yielded for them.
They allegedly converted all the interests that accrued from these fixed deposits to their personal use.
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