Court remands ex-prisons official over alleged fraudulent practices

The Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) has arraigned a former employee with the Nigerian prisons service, Ondo state command before Justice Olabode Adegbengbe of High Court 5, Akure, Ondo state over alleged fraudulent salary receipts.

In a statement from the ICPC’s spokesperson, Rasheedat Okoduwa , she explained that the accused, Mrs Abimbola Opadule had drawn up a salary excess of N1.2m as a staff member of the service in 2012 and had been remanded, pending when she could satisfy the judge’s bail conditions.

She further said that the accused had been brought before the court facing a seven count charge based on dishonesty and corruption.

“According to the particulars of the case, at various times in 2012, as a public officer in the employment of the then Nigerian Prisons Service, Ondo State Command, the accused was allegedly overpaid through her First Bank salary account no. 2004992044 amounts that were far above her monthly remuneration, totalling N1.2m.”

The ICPC said the accused’s failure to report the excesses to the authorities led to the investigation. They further explained that when they began investigation when the commission got news of the anomaly.

“Counts one to five of the charge sheet stated that at various times in 2012, she was outrageously paid amounts that were far above her monthly statutory remuneration, thereby committing fraudulent receipt of property, an offence contrary to Section 13 and punishable under Section 68 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.

“In the sixth count, the accused was said to have made a false statement to a public officer, thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 25 (1) (a) and punishable under Section 25 (1) (b) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.

“The last count stated that she used her office to confer corrupt advantage on herself, thereby committing an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.”

The accused however has pleaded not guilty to the charges while her counsel, A. O. Oluwole pleaded for bail, a plea which was not opposed by the prosecution counsel, Kehinde Adetoye.

Justice Olabode has however granted her bail on the conditions of N1.5m with a provision for two sureties in like sum. She is to be remanded in the Ondo State Command of the Nigerian Correctional Services till bail conditions are satisfied with case adjourned till April 1, 2020, for hearing.

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