From Godwin Tsa Abuja
Former Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Prosecution, Okoi Obono-Obla, was yesterday re-arraigned before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) over alleged N10.1 million fraud.
Specifically, Obono-Obla, who is a former chairman of the disbanded Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP), was also charged with failure to honour ICPC invitation.
He was re-arraigned with his Senior Assistant Special Duties (Protocol), Aliyu Ibrahim. The ICPC had on January 22, 2021, arraigned Obono-Obla before the court alongside Ibrahim and Managing Director of ABR Global Petroleum Resources Limited, Daniel Omughele.
They were arraigned on a 10-court charge bordering on diversion of N19.9million meant for furnishing the SPIP office.
Prosecution counsel, Olusola Bayeshea, SAN, had informed the court of an application by the complainant, seeking the leave of the court to amend the charges against the defendants.
The request was granted by Justice Olukayode Adeniyi following which the third defendant was discharged. However, the two defendants have entered a plea of not guilty to the amended charges against them.
The ICPC alleged in the amended charge that Obono-Obla and Ibrahim conspired and conferred unfair advantage on the second defendant by diverting N10.2 million.
The anti-graft agency alleged it was part of the N15.1 million meant for some contractors by the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) for furnishing SPIP offices into the account of ABR Global Petroleum Resources Ltd, where Ibrahim is a director and signatory to its account.