Investigation

NIGERIA: Ogbulafor begs court to dismiss charge against him

Prince Vincent OgbulaforErstwhile chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Prince Vincent Ogbulafor, yesterday, begged Justice Ishaq Bello of an Abuja High Court in Abuja to dismiss the 17-count amended criminal charge that was preferred against him by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC.

Ogbulafor was on June 21, 2010, arraigned before the high court on allegation that he conspired with two others, Mr. Emeka Ebilah and Mr. Jude Nwokoro, and defrauded the Federal Government to the tune of N2.2billion in 2001.

The former PDP boss was said to have used his position as the head of National Economic Intelligence Committee, NEIC, set-up to verify debts owed local contractors, to okay as genuine, several forged documents, which were relied upon to certify that three bogus companies, executed jobs worth over N2.2billion.

The three fake companies they allegedly floated in 2001 to siphon N82.6m, N11.5m and N6.2m respectively, were listed by the anti-graft agency in its charge sheet as, Henrichiko Nig Ltd, DHL Consultants and Chekwas Industries.

Besides, ICPC told the trial court that its investigations revealed that Ogbulafor collected kickbacks of N2m and N28m from the second and third accused persons Messrs. Ebulah and Chris Nwoke, respectively to facilitate the release of the funds.

At the resumed hearing on the matter, yesterday, Ogbulafor, who was billed to open his defence vis-a-vis the charge, through his counsel Chief J.K Gadzama, SAN, entered a no-case-submission, insisting that the totality of the proof of evidence tendered before the court, failed to establish a prima-facie criminal case against him.

Meantime, admitting that he actually collected N2million from the second accused person, Ogbulafor, maintained that the fund was given to him to support his campaign for the PDP national chairmanship position, adding that he had already left office by then.

After listening to the parties, yesterday, Justice Bello adjourned the case till March 26 for ruling.

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