By Fortune Eromosele
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, has arraigned a Deputy Commandant of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps, NSCDC, Mr. Edike Mboutidem Akpan, before Justice V.S. Garva of the FCT High Court Kwali, Abuja, for defrauding prospective home owners to the tune of N26 million.
The ICPC on a 17-count charge agaisnt Akpan, included allegedly using a private real estate company, Danemy Nig Ltd, to defraud land subscribers.
The charge sheet revealed that the deputy commandant convinced many subscribers with the claim of being in partnership with NSCDC, to pay various sums of money for plots of land both in Karshi, Nasarawa State and Sabon Lugbe Extension, Airport Road, Abuja, which were never allocated to them.
ICPC told the court that the offence, committed between 2010 and 2015, violated Sections 19 and 26 (1) (c) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and was punishable under Section 19 of the same Act.
In one of the charges, Mr. Akpan was alleged to have conferred undue advantage on himself when he allegedly received N13 million in 2011 from a subscriber, Mr. Igwe Onus Nwankwo, through his company Danemy Nig Ltd, as payments for 10 plots of land at Airport Road.
He was at various times alleged to have received N1.3 million from Doctors Robert Okoro and Akuneme Marcel Ikwuoma, each, for the allocation of plots of land at the Defenders Family Estate Homes Scheme, Airport Road.
The NSCDC officer was also accused of receiving N2.6 million from Mrs. Chidinma Obasi for two plots of land and N1.2 million from Mr. Etuechere Martins, for a plot.
However, the accused pleaded not guilty when the charge was read to him as his counsel prayed the court to grant him bail on liberal terms.
Counsel to ICPC, John-Paul Okwor, who did not oppose the bail application, however prayed the court to admit the accused to bail on reasonable terms that would ensure his attendance in court for trial.
Justice Gaba thereafter admitted him to bail in the sum of N5 million with two sureties in like sum. One of the sureties must show proof of residing in his or her personal house.
The court further ruled that the defendant must deposit his international passport with the court Registrar with a caveat to be released to him upon application for the purpose of medical treatments.
The case was then adjourned to 7th November for commencement of trial.