New Telegraph

Court Remands Two Ministries Staff Over N12m Job Racketeering

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences (ICPC), has arraigned the duo of Mrs Ndubuisi Joy Cheneme, a staff member of the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment, and Mr Godwin Sabo Takat of the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, over allegations bordering on obtaining by false pretence and employment racketeering.

The ICPC in a charge N0. CR/243/2024, brought before Honourable Justice C.O. Oba of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court 31, sitting in Apo, Abuja, accused the defendants of defrauding unsuspecting job seekers to the tune of over Twelve Million (N12,000,000) Naira only.

The ICPC Spokesperson Mr Demola Seriki in a statement on Wednesday said ICPC in a 9-count charge, accused the defendants of jointly obtaining the said amount from their victims by false pretense.

Their actions, according to the Counsel to the ICPC, Mr. Nura Saidu contravened section 1 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006, Section18 (d) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000, and section 363 of the Penal Code Act, 1990.

One of the counts reads “that you Godwin Sabo Takat (M) between January and June 2018 or thereabouts at the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja whilst being a Staff of the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing with intent to defraud did induce by false pretence Ndubuisi Joy Chineme to confer a benefit on you by paying the sum of (N4,530,000.00K) Four Million, Five Hundred and Thirty Thousand Naira only in your First Bank account for securing employment for unsuspecting job seekers in the Federal Civil Service and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 1 (2) and punishable under section 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006.”

After the counts were read to their hearing, the defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to all the 9-count charges.

Consequent upon the pleas, the presiding Judge asked the ICPC counsel if they were ready for the trial proceeding, but the prosecuting counsel requested the court to adjourn the case to allow for adequate preparation for the hearing commencement, to which the defence counsel did not oppose.

Counsel to the two defendants, Mr E.E. Ogar and I.O. Nweze filed separate bail applications and pleaded with the Judge to admit their clients to bail on very liberal terms pending trial.

Mr Saidu, counsel to the ICPC did not object to the bail applications made by the counsels to the defendants.

Justice Oba thereafter admitted the defendants to bail at N2 Million with two sureties for each of them, who (each of the sureties) must have N20 Million in their accounts and 2 landed properties in the FCT, to be verified by the court.

He ordered that the defendants be remanded in Suleja and Kuje Correctional Centers pending the fulfilment of the bail conditions. The Judge later adjourned the case till 13th January 2025 for the commencement of trial.

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