Alleged N567m fraud: Arraignment of ex-IGP Ehindero stalled

Alleged N567m fraud: Arraignment of ex-IGP Ehindero stalled

THE scheduled arraignment of former Inspector General of Police (IGP),  Sunday  Ehindero and a former Commissioner of Police in charge of budget, John Obaniyi, before an Abuja High Court over their alleged involvement in the misappropriation of N567 million while in office was stalled, on Wednesday, due to the inability of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to serve the charge personally on the duo.

The anti-graft agency had slammed a six-count criminal charge on the duo.

The accused persons were alleged to have conspired with one another between the months of May and November, 2006, to have used their position to confer corrupt advantages upon themselves by placing the sum of N300 million out of the N558 million donated to the Nigeria police by the Bayelsa State government for the procurement of arms, ammunition and riot control equipments, in a fixed deposit account at Wema Bank Plc where it yielded an interest of N9.8 million for them.

 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.

The former IGP was seen at the court premises at about 8:13a.m but he was not around when the court resumed sitting at about 10:49a.m.

The prosecuting counsel, Elijah Akaakohol, told the court that they had difficulties tracking down the former IGP to effect personal service on him as prescribed by the law, adding that they had tried locating him at his chambers within the central business district of Abuja metropolis but were told by a lawyer in his chambers that the former IGP was attending a bar conference in Asaba, the Delta State capital.

 Counsel to Ehindero, E. O Telah, opposed the application seeking for the adjournment of  the arraignment of the accused persons but rather urged the court to strike out the charge instead.

He argued that there were no material before the court to show that any reasonable attempts were made to serve the accused persons personally.

The trial judge, Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi, held that since personal service had not been effected on the accused persons as the law stipulated, the court would adjourn for the arraignment to take place.

He thereby directed the ICPC to execute personal service on the accused persons before the next adjourned date of June 28.

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