ICPC Vs Ogbulafor: Court adjourns hearing to June 6

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An Abuja High Court on Tuesday adjourned to June 6 hearing in the trial of former PDP Chairman, Vincent Ogbulafor, over alleged N107 million fraud.

The ICPC is prosecuting Ogbulafor, who was Minister of Special Duties along with Emeka Ebilah and Jude Nwokoro on a 17-count charge of conspiracy and award of fictitious contracts amounting to N107 million.

The offence is contrary to and punishable under Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Act, 2000.

At the resumed hearing, the first accused was put on the stand by his Counsel and during interrogation, admitted knowing the second accused.

Ogbulafor told the court that the second accused, Ebilah, who hails from his state, wrote a letter to him to appoint him into one of his boards when he (Ogbulafor) was made minister in 1999.

He also told the court he commented on the letter and gave it to his Personal Assistant at the time.

“I was not able to help Ebilah get appointed to one of my boards as he requested.

“So, when an opening came at the National Economic Intelligence Committee (NEIC) I was able to get him appointed as the Secretary to the committee,’’ Ogbulafor said.

He also claimed not to have met the third accused (Nwokoro) prior to their meeting in court.

“A no case submission’’ filed by Ogbulafor had been dismissed.

Ogbulafor, in his no case submission, argued that the prosecution’s evidence was not sufficient to warrant the trial.

However, Justice Ishaq Bello, in his ruling, held that the prosecution established a prima facie case against the accused to warrant the trial.

Bello said: “it is my considered view that on the totality of the evidence, the prosecution established a prima facie case to warrant the accused to open his defence.

“The no case submission failed and is accordingly dismissed,’’ the judge had said.

 

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