ICPC arraigns PRODA DG, Agulanna for alleged N23.5m fraud
ICPC arraigns PRODA DG, Agulanna for alleged N23.5m fraud

THE Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission has arraigned the Director-General of Project Development Institute, Enugu, Dr Charles Agulanna, before Justice Buba Ibrahim of the Federal High Court sitting in Enugu, for allegedly committing procurement fraud.

Agulanna, who is facing a one- count charge, was alleged by the ICPC to have sometime in August 2017 or thereabout, perpetrated the fraud by awarding a contract for the revaluation of land belonging to PRODA in the sum of N23,500,037.50 to T.O. Thomas & Co., when the company was not a registered surveyor/valuer and did not submit any memorandum of understanding with any registered surveyor/valuer in its tender bid, an offence contrary to section 58(4)(b) and punishable under section 58(5) of the Public Procurement Act 2007.

A statement on Friday by the ICPC spokesperson, Mrs Azuka Ogugua, said the defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The defence counsel, G. Joshua, who had earlier submitted a written bail application, prayed the court to grant his client bail, stating that his client was “a man of credible personality” that would not jump bail.

The ICPC counsel, O.J. Ochigbo did not oppose the bail but said the court should grant him bail with stringent conditions.

“The Presiding Judge, Justice Buba Ibrahim, therefore, granted bail to the defendant in the sum of N5m and two reliable sureties in like sum.

“Justice Ibrahim also asked the defendant and his sureties to submit two passport photographs each to the court, and thereafter, adjourned the matter to the 21st of October 2021 for hearing,” the statement read.

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