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FG arraigns ex-NITDA DG over alleged N50m contract scam

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The office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), on Tuesday arraigned a former Director-General of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Peter Jack, in an FCT High Court, Apo over alleged N50 million contract scam.

Jack, 58, who resides at No.17, Gana Street, Maitama, Abuja is charged with  two counts of criminal breach of trust and cheating.

The prosecution counsel, Mrs Chelsy Emezina, told the court that sometime in 2015, the complainant, Tunde Ajala, transferred N50 million to the defendant as payment to award him a contract worth over N1 billion.

Emezina said that Ajala  accepted to pay the sum of N100 million to be awarded the contract and agreed to pay the balance of another N50 million when the contract was finally awarded.

The prosecutor in addition, alleged that the contract was never awarded and instead, the defendant converted the money to his personal use and every effort to recover the money had proved abortive.

The prosecutor said that the offence contravened the provisions of Sections 312 and 322 of the Penal Code.

The defendant however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Mr O. A. Ekpenta, the defendant’s counsel, prayed the court to allow him move his application for his client’s bail.

Emezina, who objected to the application on grounds that she was just served the motion in court, said that she needed time to reply her counter motion.

The Judge, Justice Slyvanus Oriji, in response, said the motion was not ripe to be taken.

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Ekpenta proceeded to withdraw the said motion and opted to make oral application for bail.

When asked by the judge if she had an objection, the prosecutor said she had no objection for the withdrawal.

Oriji in turn granted the application and struck out the motion.

The defence counsel then proceeded to make oral application for bail for his client in the most liberal terms citing Sections 156 and 162 of Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015, as the basis for his application.

Emezina further objected to the bail on the grounds that the defendant will jump bail if granted and instead prayed the court for accelerated hearing.

In ruling, Oriji admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N20 million with two sureties in like sum.

He directed that the sureties (one of whom must be a civil servant), must depose to affidavit of means, resides within the court’s jurisdiction and their addresses verified by the court’s registrar.

He adjourned the case until April 30 and May 18 for hearing.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that the defendant had earlier been arraigned at a Magistrates’ Court in Mpape, Abuja on Oct. 4, 2019 before the matter was withdrawn and later transferred to the office of the AGF.

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