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ICPC to arraign REA officer over N1.8 billion unauthorized project supervision payments

Story Highlights

  • ICPC to arraign REA officer, Abubakar Abdullahi Sambo, for unauthorized payment of N1.8 billion for project supervision.
  • Charges filed by ICPC include contravention of the Cybercrime Act, Public Enterprise Regulatory Commission Act, and Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act.
  • The REA is responsible for electrification in rural areas under the Federal Ministry of Power, with investigations initiated following allegations of fraud and misconduct.

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) will arraign a staff member of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), Abubakar Abdullahi Sambo, for allegedly paying N1.835 billion for an unauthorized project supervision exercise.

This is contained in ICPC’s charge sheet marked FHC/ABJ/ CR/209/2024, and filed on May 10, 2024, by  Dr. Osuobeni Ekoi Akponimisingha,  Assistant Chief Legal Officer, ICPC.

The defendant is sued before the Federal High Court, Abuja, for allegedly paying N1.835 billion to some persons for a purported project supervision exercise without requisite approval.

In the three-count charge obtained by NewsTimes on Tuesday, the anti-graft agency accused the defendant of allegedly using his password to access the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System platform of REA to finalize the payments.

ICPC maintained that the development contravenes the Cybercrime Act, Public Enterprise Regulatory Commission Act and Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.

The charges read,

“That you ABUBAKAR ABDULLAHI SAMBO (M) sometime in March, 2023 оr thereabout while being a public officer I.e., Payment Finalizer on the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System platform of Rural Electrification Agency at Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did finalize the payment of the total sum of N1,835,000,000.00 (One Billion, Eight Hundred and Thirty-Five Million Naira) in different tranches for the use of Henmentta Onomen Okojie, Asuni Adejoke Aminat, Usman Kwakwa, Laure Shehu Abdullahi, Emmanuel Pada Titus and Musa Umar Karaye for a purported project supervision exercise without requisite approval thereby contributing to the economic adversity of the Rural Electrification Agency and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 68 of the Public Enterprise Regulatory Commission Act, CAP. P39, Laws of the Federation, 2004

“That you ABUBAKAR ABDULLAHI SAMBO (M) sometime in March, 2023 or thereabout while being a public officer i.e, Payment Finalizer on the Government Integrated Financial Management System platform of Rural Electrification Agency at Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did use your access password to access the Government Integrated Financial Management information System platform of Rural Electrification Agency and finalized the payment of the total sum of N1,835,000,000,00 (One Billion, Eight Hundred and Thirty-Five Million Naira) in different tranches for the use of Henrientta Onomen Okojie, Asuni Adejoke Aminat, Usman Kwakwa, Laure Shehu Abdullahi, Emmanuel Pada Titus and Musa Umar Karaye for a purported project supervision exercise without authority and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 6(4) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, Etc) Act, 2015.

“That you ABUBAKAR ABDULLAHI SAMBO (M) sometime in March, 2023 or thereabout while being a public officer i.e., Payment Finalizer on the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System platform of Rural Electrification Agency at Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did confer corrupt advantage on Henrrientta Onomen Okajle, Asuni Adejoke Aminat, Usman Kwakwa, Laure Shehu Abdullahi, Emmanuel Pada Titus and Musa Umar Karaye when you used your access password to access the Government Integrated Financial Management System platform of Rural Electrification Agency and finalized the payment of the total sum of N1,835,000,000.00 (One Billion, Eight Hundred and Thirty-Five Million Naira) in different tranches for the use of Henrientta Onomen Okojie, Asuni Adejake Aminat, Usman Kwakwa, Laure Shehu Abdullahi, Emmanuel Pada Titus and Musa Umar Karaye for a purported project supervision exercise without requisite approvals and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.”

NewsTimes gathered that a date has not been fixed for arraignment.

More insight

  • The REA is the implementing agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria responsible for the electrification of rural and unserved communities.
  • The agency is under the Federal Ministry of Power.
  • The case began after the ICPC announced in 2023 that its operatives had commenced investigation into alleged fraud, criminal conspiracy, and diversion of public funds in the REA.
  • NewsTimes previously reported that apart from the ICPC, the House of Representatives Committee on Anti-corruption had also invited the Managing Director of REA, Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad, to appear before it over alleged fraud allegations in the agency.
  • The investigations followed a petition of alleged gross misconduct and fraud by the Centre Against Injustice and Domestic Violence (CAIDOV).
  • In March this year, President Bola Tinubu approved the indefinite suspension of the Managing Director/CEO of the REA, Ahmad, alongside three Executive Directors of the agency, from office, following findings during a comprehensive investigation into the financial activities of the REA.

 

 

 

 


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