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ICPC arraigns ex-DG of biotech development agency, two others for alleged N400m fraud



Constituency project hospital equipment recovered from private home in Akwa Ibom

The Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) on Wednesday arraigned the former Director-General of the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), Prof. Alex Akpa, and others for alleged N400 million fraud at the Federal High Court, Abuja.

Akpan was arraigned by the commission alongside an ex-member of the NABDA Governing Board, Famous Daunemigha, and the agency’s former Director of Finance and Accounts, Wesley Ebi Siasia, on an amended four-count charge of fraud.

The ICPC had in the amended charge marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/302/22 dated and filed November 1, alleged that the defendants, sometime in August 2020 indirectly took possession of N400 million meant for the establishment of four Bioresources Development Centers in four states of the federation.

The commission accused Akpa of taking possession of N260 million out of the N400 million.

The ICPC also accused Daunemigha of embezzling N50 million from the funds while Siasia was alleged to have taken possession of N40 million.

Read also:ICPC arraigns NDDC director, FCT official for alleged fraud

The act, according to the commission contravened Section 18 (2) (d) and punishable under Section 18 (3) of the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022.

The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Counsel to the ICPC, O.G. Iwuagwu, told the court that seven witnesses had been lined up to testify against the defendants.

Justice Inyang Ekwo granted bail on terms of the administrative bail earlier granted them by the commission.

He directed that all the particulars of the defendants be forwarded to the court registrar within seven days of the order.

The judge, who warmed the defendants against breaching the bail conditions, said the trial would be on a day-to-day basis.

He adjourned the matter till March 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10, 2023 for trial.

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