Former NABDA DG Prof. Akpa, others arrested by the ICPC over N400m fraud
Former acting Director-General of the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), Prof. Alex Akpa, has been charged before an Abuja-based Federal High Court.
Wednesday saw Akpa’s arraignment by Nigeria’s Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
Before Justice Inyang Ekwo of a Federal High Court in Abuja, Prof. Akpan, Famous Daunemigha, an ex-member of the NABDA Governing Board, and Wesley Ebi Siasia, an ex-Director of Finance and Accounts of the agency, were charged on four counts.
However, the three of them, who are the first through third defendants, respectively, entered not guilty pleas to the accusations.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, O. G. Iwuagwu, the anti-corruption commission’s attorney, disclosed that seven witnesses had been lined up to testify against the defendants.
As a result, Justice Ekwo admitted them to bail under the terms of the administrative bail that had previously been granted to them by the commission.
Within seven days of the injunction, Ekwo ordered that the court registrar get all of the defendants’ information.
The trial would go day by day, the judge declared as she issued stern warnings to the accused about breaking their bail terms.
He postponed the trial date till March 6, March 7, March 8, and March 9.
The ICPC had claimed that sometime in August 2020, when the defendants were public officers and within the court’s jurisdiction, they indirectly obtained N400 million intended for the construction of four bioresources development centres in four states.
In count two, the panel charged Akpa with unlawfully obtaining N260 million, which was a portion of N400 million.
The ICPC charged Siasia with obtaining possession of N40 million from the N400 million and Daunemigha with embezzling N50 million from the sum.
According to the commission, the act violates Section 18 (2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act of 2022 and is penalised under Section 18 (3).