A former Deputy Speaker and current member representing Jos-North state constituency in the Plateau State House of Assembly, Honourable Ibrahim Baba Hassan, has been docked before Honourable Justice J.U.A Musale of High Court 31 of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), sitting in Jabi, by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) for allegedly submitting a forged academic qualification to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to contest in the 2015 State Assembly elections.
The lawmaker, who is presently a 3-time member of the Plateau State House of Assembly, was said to have forged a Diploma in Business Administration of the University of Jos, dated November 1996, and falsely inserted his name as one of the graduands in the “Order of Proceedings of the 19th Combined Convocation Ceremony” of the said university held on 26th and 27th April 2002 which he presented to ICPC investigators.
Hassan who contested the 2015 Plateau State House of Assembly election again and won, was arraigned on a 5-count charge of offences bordering on forgery, lying under oath, intent to cause damage to the public and making false statement with the intention to mislead.
In a Charge No: CR/136/17, the defendant was accused of committing offences contrary to Section 25 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000, sections 157, 164, 363,366 of Penal Code Laws of the FCT and punishable under Section 68 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and sections 158 and 364 of the Penal Code.
The accused person pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against him and in view of this, counsel to the accused, Solomon E. Umoh (SAN), via an oral application, sought the relief of the court to grant his client bail based on self-recognition. He averred that his client did not show any recalcitrant attitude throughout the course of investigation.
However, ICPC’s counsel, Agbili Ezenwa Kingsley, opposed the relief sought by the defence, arguing that the accused, as a political office-holder, could be recalled by his constituents at any time and would lose his privileged status. Kingsley therefore prayed the court to grant the accused stringent bail conditions that would compel him to appear for hearings no matter the circumstances.
Having listened to the submissions of both parties, the trial judge ruled that the administrative bail which was granted to the accused person by ICPC should subsist.
The case has been adjourned to July 3rd 2017 for commencement of hearing.
In another development, the Chief Executive Officer, General Duties and Procurement Officer Kaduna State Polytechnic, Mr. Ahmed Umar, has been docked before Honourable Justice M.T.M Tukur of Kaduna State High Court 7 sitting in Kaduna by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) for alleged contract inflation and award of contracts to a company which he owned.
The accused was arraigned on a 7-count charge bordering on holding a private interest in the award of contracts, fraudulent acquisition of property, conferring corrupt advantage upon himself and inflation of goods and services to the tune of N39,361,027.50.
Mr. Umar was said to have inflated the cost of an executive conference table from N350,000 to N1,250,000 and the cost of a Chinese carpet from N567,600 to N2,017,600.
The defendant was also accused of using his office for gratification by awarding the contract for the rehabilitation of a road and parking lot worth N12,662,590 and the procurement of 1,277 two-seater classroom chairs worth N22,459,237.50 to Skylight Nigeria Limited, a company of which he was the proprietor.
Mr. Umar’s actions contravene sections 12,19 and 22, sub-section 3 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000, and if found guilty, he shall on conviction be liable to a term of imprisonment ranging from 5 to 7 years.
The accused pleaded not guilty to all the charges preferred against him and was granted bail in the sum of N2 million with a surety in like sum who must be a government level 14 officer with evidence of residing in Kaduna for the past 5 years.
The matter was adjourned to 29th June 2017 for the commencement of hearing.