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« Stakeholders hail CBN over N72 bn debts cancellation | Main | President signs N1.8tn Appropriation Bill »

April 13, 2005

ICPC arraigns Wabara, Osuji, others•As Obasanjo picks replacements for sacked ministers

INDEPENDENT Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), yesterday arraigned former Senate President, Chief Adolphus Wabara, former Education Minister, Prof. Fabian Osuji and five members of the National Assembly indicted in the alleged N55 million budget bribe scam at an Abuja High Court on a 15-count charge.

MALACHY UZENDU and COSMAS EKPUNOBI, Senate Correspondent Abuja

The accused were arraigned just as President Olusegun Obasanjo presented two new ministerial nominees - Mrs Chinwe Obaji and Prince Adetokunbo Kayode - from Imo and Ondo States, respectively, to the Senate for confirmation.

Apart from Chief Wabara and Prof. Osuji, other accused persons arraigned yesterday were Senators Ibrahim Abdulazeez; John Azuta Mbata; Emmanuel Okpede; Badamasi Maccido and Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Education, Hon. Garba Shehu Matazu.

According to ICPC represented by the Principal Legal Officer in the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) office, Mr. Sanusi Kado, to prosecute the case, the accused persons violated sections of the ICPC Act punishable with between five and seven years jail term.

The accused were, however, granted bail by the Justice Husseini Mukhtar in the sum of N10 million each on self recognition.

The ICPC said the accused persons allegedly "conspired with each other to commit a criminal offence under the ICPC Act, by asking for the sum of N50 million gratification from Fabian Osuji in the name of public relations (PR) to those amongst yourselves with regard to the passage of the year 2005 budget of the Federal Ministry of Education and thereby committed an offence."

Mr. Kado stated that the accused allegedly violated sections 8 (1), 10 (a) (1), 17 (c), 26 (1) (c), 26 (1) (c), 23 (1); 10 (a) (i), 17 (1) (a) (i), 9 (1), 9 (1) (a) and (b) and 23 (2) of the ICPC Act 2002.

According to the prosecution, the offences for which they were arraigned were punishable under sections 8 (1), 10 (a) (ii), 17 (c), 19, 23 (3), 10 (a) (ii), 17 (1) (c), 9 (l) (b), and 23 (3) of the same ICPC Act.

The legislators were also alleged to have used their position as legislators between December 2 and 6, 2004, conferred unfair advantage to themselves by obtaining the said amount from the former Education Minister.

Apart from allegedly obtaining the money, they were alleged to have shared the money, for which purpose was to pass the 2005 budget of the Education ministry.

Of the 15-count charge, Senator Wabara alone would be required to contend with counts 10 and 11, while Prof. Osuji had to face the remaining four counts.

The charges which were specified for Wabara and Osuji had to do with the alleged extra N5 million which was said to have been given by Prof. Osuji to Wabara for intervening in the dispute regarding the ministry’s 2005 budget."

Shortly after the accused persons denied the charges, their lawyers, Messrs. Kickey Tarfa (SAN), Dr. Alex Zinyon (SAN) and Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), applied for bail, citing sections 35 and 36 (5) of the constitution as well as section 42 of the ICPC Act.

Meanwhile, President Obasanjo presented two new ministerial nominees to the Senate for confirmation, bringing to an end a week-long lobby by some persons to replace two sacked ministers.

The president, in a letter to the Senate president, Senator Ken Nnamani, read on the floor of the Senate, nominated Mrs. Obaji and Prince Kayode as ministers.

The nomination of Mrs. Obaji and Prince Kayode followed sacking of former Minister of Education, Prof. Fabian Osuji (Imo) and his Housing counterpart, Mrs. Mobolaji Osomo (Ondo).

There were no portfolio attached to the ministerial nominees, but Daily Champion gathered that President Obasanjo may soon move around all his ministers.

President Obasanjo in the letter, told the Senate to give the nominees accelerated consideration.

Speculation was rife yesterday that President Obasanjo may effect a minor cabinet change to inject fresh blood in the system.

Below is the full text of the charges:

In the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in the Abuja Judicial division holden at Abuja

Between Charge No..

Federal Republic of Nigeria .. Complainant

vs

1.Senator Adolphus Wabara

2.Senator Ibrahim Abdulazeez

3.Senator John Azuta Mbata

4.Senator Emmanuel Okpede

5.Senator Badamasi Maccido

6.Honourable Dr. Garba Shehu Matazu

7.Professor Fabian Osuji Accused


Charge

Count One

That you, Senator Adophus Ndaneweh Wabara, (M), Senator Ibrahim Abdulazeez (M), Senator John Mbata, (M), Senator Emmanuel Okpede, (M), Senator Badamasi Maccido, (M) and Honourable Dr. Garba Shehu Matazu, (M), on or about 2nd December 2004 at Abuja, conspired with each other to commit a criminal offence under the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000, by asking for the sum of N50,000,000.00 (Fifty million naira) gratification from Professor Fabian Osuji, in the name of PR to share amongst yourselves with regard to the passage of the year 2005 budget of the Federal Ministry of Education and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 26 (1) (c) and punishable under section 8(1) of the corruption practices and other Related Offences Act 2000.

Count Two

That you, Senator Adophus Ndaneweh Wabara, (M), Senator Ibrahim Addulazeez (M), Senator John Azuta Mbata, (M), Senator Emmanuel Okpede, (M), Senator Badamasi Maccido, (M), and Honourable Dr. Garba Shehu Matazu (M), on or about 2nd December 2004, at Abuja, did corruptly obtain the sum of N50,000,000.00 (Fifty Million Naira) from Professor Fabian Osuji to share amongst yourselves with regard to the passage of the year 2005 budget of the Federal ministry of Education and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 8(1) of the corrupt Practices And Other Related Offences Act 2000.

Count Three

That you, Senator Adophus Ndaneweh Wabara, (M), Senator Ibrahim Abdulazeez (M), Senator John Azuta Mbata, (M), Senator Emmanuel Okpede, (M), Senator Badamasi Maccido, (M) and Honourbale Dr. Garba Shehu Matazu, (M), between 2nd December 2004 and 6th December 2004 or thereabout at Abuja, did corruptly obtain the sum of N50,000.000.00 (Fifty Million Naira from Professor Fabian Osuji for you to share amongst yourselves with regard to the passage of the year 2005 budget of he Federal Ministry of Education and thereby committed an offence contrary to 10(a)(1) and punishable under section 10(a)(ii) of the corrupt Practices And other Related Offences Act 2000.

Count Four

That you, Senator Adolphus Ndaneweh Wabara, (M), Senator Ibrahim Abdulazeez (M), Senator John Azuta Mbata, (M), and Honourable Dr. Garba Shehu Matazu, (M), between December 2, 2004 and December 6, 2004 or thereabout, at Abuja, did corruptly obtain a consideration in the sum of N50,000,000.00 (Fifty Million Naira) from Professor Fabian Osuji, to share amongst yourselves as inducement with regard to the passage of the year 2005 budget of the Federal Ministry of Education and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 17 (a) and punishable under section 17(c) of the corrupt practices And Other Related Offences Act 2000.

Count Five

That you, Senator Adolphus Ndaneweh Wabara, (M) Senator Ibrahim Abdulazeez (M), Senator John Azuta Mbata, (M), Senator Emmanuel Okpede, (M), Senator Badamasi Maccido, (M), and Honourale Dr. Garba Shehu Matazu (M), between December 2, 2004 and December 6, 2004 or thereabout at Abuja, conspired with each other to commit a criminal offence under the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000, to wit using your positions as Legislators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to confer unfair advantage upon yourselves by obtaining from Professor Fabian Osuji, the sum of N50,000,000.00 (Fifty million naira) and sharing the same amongst yourselves with regard to the passage of the year 2005 budget of the Federal Ministry of Education and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 26(1)(c) and punishable under section 19 of the corrupt practices and other related offences act 2000.

Count Six

That you, Senator Adolphus Ndaneweh Wabara, (M), Senator Ibrahim Abdulazeez (M), Senator John Azuta Mbata, (M), Senator Emmanuel Okpede, (M), Senator Babadmasi Maccido, (M) and Honourable Dr. Garba Shehu Matazu, (M), between December 2, 2004 and December 6, 2004 or thereabout at Abuja, being public officers, did use your positions as Legislators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to confer unfair advantage upon yourselves by obtaining from Professor Fabian Osuji, the sum of N50,000,000.00 (Fifty Million Naira) and shared same amongst yourselves with regard to the passage of the year 2005 budget of the Federal Ministry of Education and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 19 of the Corrupt Practices Act And Other Related Offences Act 2000.

Count seven

That you, Senator Adolphus Ndaneweh Wabara, (M), Senator Ibrahim Abdulazeez (M), Senator John Azuta Mbata, (M), Senator Emmanuel Okpede, (M), Senator Badamasi Maccido, (M), Honourbale De. Garba Shehu Matazu, (M), between December 2, 2004 and December 6, 2004 or thereabout at Abuja, conspired with each other to commit a criminal offence under the Corrupt Practices And Other Related Offences Act 2000, by using your positions as legislators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to confer corrupt advantage upon yourselves by obtaining from Professor Fabian Osuji, the sum of N50,000,000.00 (Fifty Million Naira) and shared same amongst yourselves with regard to the passage of the year 2005 budget of the Federal Ministry of Education and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 26(1)(c) and punishable under section 19 of the Corrupt Practice And Other Related Offences Act 2000.

Count Eight

That you, Senator Adolphus Ndaneweh Wabara, (M), Senator Ibrahim Abdulazeez (M), Senator John Azuta Mabta, (M), Senator Emmanuel Okpede, (M), Senator Badamasi Maccido, (M), and Honourable Dr. Garab Shehu Matazu, (M), between December 2, 2004 and December 6, 2004 or thereabout at Abuja, being public officers, did use your positions as legislators of he Federal Republic of Nigeria, to confer corrupt advantage upon yourselves by obtaining form Professor Fabian Osuji, the sum of N50,000,000.00 (Fifty Million naira) and shared same amongst yourselves with regard to the passage of the year 2005 budget of the Federal Ministry of Education and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 19 of the Corrupt Practices And Other Related Offences Act 2000.

Count Nine

That you, Senator Adolphus Ndaneweh Wabara, (M), Senator Ibrahim Adbulazeez (M), Senator John Azuta Mbata, (M) Senator Emmanuel Okpede, (M), Senator John Azuta Mbata (M), Senator Emmanuel Okpede, (M), Senator Badamasi Maccido, (M) and Honourable Dr. Garba Shehu Matazu, (M), between December 2, 2004 and December 6, 2004 or thereabout at Abuja, being legislators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, were offered gratification by Professor Fabian Osuji, in the sum of N50,000,000.00 (Fifty Million Naira) to share amongst yourselves and failed to report the sold offer of the gratification to an officer of the Independent Corrupt Practices And Other Related Offences Commission or an police officer and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 23(1) and punished under section 23(3) of the corrupt practices And Other Related Offences Act 2000.

Count Ten

That you, Senator Adolphus Ndaneweh Wabara, (M), on or about December 6, 2004, at Abuja, did receive the sum of N5,000,000.00 (Five Million naira) from Professor Fabian Osuji for yourself as gratification for intervening in the dispute regarding the year 2005 budget of the Federal Ministry of Education and your thereby committed an offence contrary to section 10(a)(1) and punishable under section 10(a) (ii) of the Corrupt Practices And other Related Offences Act 2000.

Count Eleven

That you, Senator Adolphus Ndaneweh Wabara, (M), on or about December 6, 2004 at Abuja did corruptly obtain from Professor Fabian Osuji, the sum of N5,000,000.00 (Five million Naira) from Professor Fabian Osuji for yourselves as gratification for intervention in the dispute regarding the year 2005 budget of the Federal Ministry of Education and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 10(a)(1) and punishable under section 10(a) (ii) of the Corrupt Practices And other Related Offences Act 2000.


Count Twelve

That you, Processor Fabian Osuji, (M), between 2nd and 6th December 2004 or thereabout at Abuja did give gratification in the sum of N50,000,000.00 (Fifty Million Naira) to the former Senator President Senator Adolphus Naneweh Wabara, Senator Ibrahim Abdulazeez (M), Senator Azuta Mbata, (M), Senator Emmanuel Okede, (M), Senator Badamasi Maccido, (M) and Honourable Dr. Garab Shehu Matazu, (M), to facilitate the passage of the year 2005 budget of the Federal Ministry of Education and thereby committed and offence contrary to the punishable under section 9(1)(b) of the Corrupt Practices And Other Related Offence Act 2000.


Count Thirteen

That you, Professor Fabian Osuji, (M), on or about December 6, 2004, at Abuja, did offer gratification in the sum of N5,000,000.00 (Five Million Naira) to the former Senator President Senator Adolphus Ndaneweh Wabara, as appreciation for summoning a meeting with some members of he Education Committees of the Federal Assembly with regard to the year 2005 budget of the Federal Ministry of Education and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 9(1)(b) of the Corrupt Practices And Other Related Offence Act 2000.


Count Fourteen

That you, Professor Fabian Osuji, on or about December 5, 2005, at Abuja gave the sum of N5,000,000,00 (Five Million Naira) to the former Senator President, Senator Adolphus Ndaneweh Wabara for summing a meeting with some members of he Education Committee of the National Assembly with regard to the thereby committed an offence contrary to section 9(1) (a) and punishable under section 9(10 (b) of the Corrupt Practices And other Related Offences Act 2000.


Count Fifteen

That you, Professor Fabian Osuji, on or about December 6, 2005, at Abuja, being Minister of Education did give gratification to the former Senate President, Senator Adolphus Ndaneweh Wabara, (M), Senator Emmanuel Okpede, (M), Senator John Azuta Mbata, (M), Senator Ibrahim Abdulazeez (M), Senator John Azuta Mbata, (M), Senator Emmanuel Okpede, (M), Senator Badamasi Maccido, (M) and Honourable Dr. Garba Shehu Matazu, (M) in the sum of N50m (fifty million naira) to share amongst themselves and failed to report same to an officer of the Independent Corrupt Practices And Other Related Offences Commission or a police officer and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 23(2) and punishable under section 23(3) of the corrupt practices and other related offences act 2000.

Dated His 11th Day of April 2005


Sanusi Kado, Esq

Principal Legal Officer,

Federal Ministry of Justice,

For ........................... Athoney General of the Federation

Plot 802, Constitution Avenue Central Area, Abuja

Posted by Publisher at April 13, 2005 02:59 PM

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