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Fraud: EFCC files fresh charges against Martins, others

ABUJA—The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) yesterday filed an amended nine count charge against the former Coordinator of the defunct Police Equipment Fund, Kenny Martins and three others, Ibrahim Dumuje, Yero Gella and Nigerstalg Limited inAbuja.

The nine count charge borders on criminal breach of trust, mismanagement, conversion and misuse of public funds totalling over N1 billion when they held sway as coordinators of the defunct PEF. Kenny Martins and others were said to have committed the offences contrary to section  97(1) of the Penal Code Act Cap 532 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990 and punishable under Section 312 of the same Penal Code Act.

For instance, in count three of the amended charge, Kenny Martins and the others were said to have being entrusted with the sum of N7,740 million property of the Association of Local Government of Nigeria dishonestly converted to your own use the sum of N774 million  in violation of the agreement between you on one hand and the said Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, and Federal Government of Nigeria on the other that the entire said sum of N7,740 million should be used to procure equipment for the Nigeria Police Force and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 312 of the Penal Code Act Cap 532 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria.

When the amended charges were read to the accused, Kenny Martins and his co-accused pleaded not guilty to the charges. Chile Okoroma, counsel to EFCC said the amended charges were based on fresh evidences from witnesses who testified in court in one of the early sittings.

Mike Ozekhome, counsel to the accused persons did not object to the amended charges. He admitted that he has been duly served but that he needed time to study the charges and make his submissions. He pleaded with the judge to allow the accused persons  return home as he had earlier granted them bail which they have never flouted.

“They have always been available in court and they have never failed to attend court meeting”, he argued.

Kenny Martins and others who were first arraigned by the EFCC for misuse of public fund totaling N800 million were granted bail by Justice Abubakar Talba on July 3, 2008 on such conditions as a bank guarantee of N10 million each, two reliable sureties in like sum, and the sureties to deposit a certificate of occupancy of a property within Abuja municipality.

Justice Talba at the end of yesterday’s sitting fixed November 9 for the adoption of the written submission of both the prosecution and defence counsel.


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