Education ministry's director in court, passport seized over N162m fraud

Education ministry's director in court, passport seized over N162m fraud

- The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has arraigned a director in the ministry of education

- The defendant, one Victor Igboanugo, was accused of contract scandals worth about N162m and owning property said to be above his rightful salary

- In order to restrict Igboanugo's movement, the judge presiding over the case, Justice V. B. Ashi, ordered the seizure of his international passport until the case is decided

Victor Igboanugo, a director in the Federal Ministry of Education, was on Thursday, April 11, charged to an FCT High Court by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) over alleged contract scandals worth about N162m.

Added to this, Igboanugo who has a 17-count charge, is also facing trial over ownership of property said to be above his rightful monthly pay, The Nation reports.

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Following this, the presiding judge, Justice V. B. Ashi, as reported by the spokesperson of ICPC, Rasheedat A. Okoduwa, has ordered the seizure of his international passport until the case is decided.

A statement on the charges against the accused said: “The charge, which borders on abuse of office and conferring undue advantage upon himself, amongst others, contravenes sections 10, 12 and 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and punishable under the same sections.

“ICPC counsel, Henry Emore, told the court that Mr. Igboanugo, while being the Secretary of the Ministerial Tenders’ Board at the Ministry of Environment, facilitated the award of multiple contracts to private companies where he held personal interests."

"The court also heard that the accused, while acting as a Deputy Director of Procurement at the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, bought a property in the United States of America for $140,000, a sum way above his legitimate income.

“He was further accused of receiving N20 million kickbacks through one of his companies, Phinavic Ventures Ltd, from the Chief Executive Officer of Lufem Engineering Ltd, Mr. Asiwaju Adekanbi Femi, after the award of contract for the construction of a skill acquisition centre.

The statement party read further: “That you Engr. Victor Igboanugo (M) sometime in October, 2008 or thereabout at Abuja, Federal Capital Territory while being a public officer used your position as Deputy Director and Secretary of the Ministerial Tenders’ Board of the Federal Ministry of Environment to confer corrupt advantage upon yourself by awarding a contract for the construction of three bedroom semi-detached bungalow at Prototype Housing Scheme, Asaba, Delta State to your company, Echedom Technical & Trading Co. Ltd for a contract sum of Ten Million Five Hundred Thousand naira only (N10,500,000:00) and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.”

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After the accused pleaded not guilty to the charges, Justice Ashi granted him bail in the sum of N2 million with one surety in like sum who must be an officer not below Grade Level 14 in the federal civil service.

Meanwhile, Legit.ng reported that about $56 million of the $1.09 billion Malabu oil block cash was used by a former minister of petroleum resources to buy a jet.

The aircraft had been traced to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. It was learnt that four anti-corruption organisations have petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) demanding the seizure of the jet.

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Source: Legit

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