By Soni Daniel
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has arraigned two officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), over alleged extortion of motorists and gratification.
In a 2-count charge brought before Justice H. Aprioku of the Rivers State High Court 11 sitting in Port Harcourt, ICPC told the court how the duo, John Asegu and Otom Asueni, forcefully collected various sums of money totaling N3,500 from motorists as a “fee“ to allow the motorists pass their checkpoint along Port Harcourt-Ahoada expressway, even without being charged for any traffic offence.
The Commission also accused the defendants of using their position as public officers to confer undue advantage upon themselves by soliciting for, and accepting gratification. The defendants were arrested on the act after ICPC mounted a sting operation on them following intelligence.
ICPC in a Charge No: PHC/3905ICPC/19 averred that the duo’s actions were contrary to and punishable under sections 8, 19, and 26 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000, and if they are found guilty they shall on conviction, be liable to imprisonment for seven years without option of fine.
According to the Spokesperson for the ICPC, Mrs. Azuka Ogugua, the accused persons pleaded not guilty to the 2-count charge and the trial Judge granted them bail, but because of their inability to meet up with the bail conditions, they are remanded in the custody of the Correctional Service. The case was subsequently adjourned to the 26th of March, 2021 for commencement of trial.