Stephen Amase, Private Secretary to the Governor of Benue State, Samuel Otom, and Mr Manger Emmanuel, former Commissioner of Works, were arraigned by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) over alleged N4.7billion fraud.
According to the ICPC spokesperson, Mrs Rasheedat Okoduwa, the suspects were accused of conferring an unfair advantage upon themselves, and for holding indirect private interests in a contract valued at N4,766,858,449.63.
She further stated that the offence which was committed in March 2016, violates Sections 12 and 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.
While pleading not guilty before Justice S.O Itodo of the Benue State High Court in Makurdi, the statement claimed Amase had used his position to secure the award of a contract valued at N4,766,858,445.63 to Tongyi New International Construction Limited.
The statement read, “The prosecution counsel for the ICPC, Mr G. O. Iwuagwu, informed the judge that sometime in March 2016, the first accused person, Amase, while being a public servant as the principal private secretary to the Governor of Benue State, conferred unfair advantage upon himself by using his position to secure the award of a contract to Tongyi New International Construction Limited for the sum of N4,766,858,445.63, from the government he is serving, thereby committing an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.
The statement also quoted the ICPC Prosecution Counsel, Mr G. O Iwuagwu, as telling the court that Emmanuel conspired with Amase to award the contract, thereby misguiding the State Tenders Board and State Executive Council.
After both accused persons pleaded not guilty, Mr C. A. K. Asheka (SAN), the Defence Counsel, applied for their bail which wasn’t opposed by the prosecution counsel