By GABRIEL ENOGHOLASE
BENIN — AN Edo State High Court sitting in Benin, Monday, ordered former Secretary to the Edo State Government, Dr. Simon Imuekeme, to be reminded in prison custody, pending the hearing and determination of his application for bail.
Trial judge, Justice Esther Edigin also ordered to be reminded in prison custody of former officials of the State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB, Joseph Emoabino, David Igbinoba and Aghator Efe.
The accused persons, were arraigned by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on an eight count charge of using the sum of N133million allocated for a particular project on another project contrary to section 22(5) of the Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Act 2000.
They pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Justice Edigin, ruling on an application by Mr. Omoruyi Omonuwa, SAN and other counsel representing the accused persons that the administrative bail granted to them by EFCC should be extended, agreed with counsel to the anti-graft agency, that once the accused persons have been charged to court and their plea taken, other bail arrangements made before them were deemed to have expired.
The judge held that the accused persons be reminded in prison custody pending the hearing and determination of their application for bail and adjourned hearing in the bail application till March 14, 2014.
According to count one of the charge, the accused persons were alleged to have spent the sum of N16.85million on the construction of perimeter wall fencing in Ivbiore Primary School, Ugbor, a project not covered by the intervention funds allocated by the State Universal Basic Education Board/State government and thereby committed an office.
Count 2 read that the accused spent the sum of N13.21m on the renovation of six classrooms block in Ikirodah Primary School Ugiekha, a project not covered by the intervention funds of SUBEB/State government, and thereby committing an offence.
Count 5 alleged that they spent the sum of N12. 4m on the renovation of six classrooms blocks in Ikabigbo Primary School Ikabigbo, a project not covered by the intervention funds of SUBEB/State government and thereby committed an offence.