ICPC arraigns civil servant for signing off incomplete project
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has arraigned Mr. Suleiman Austin Adavize, a civil servant working with the Border Communities Development Agency (BCDA), for allegedly signing off a contract that was not completed.
A statement signed by Mrs. Azuka Ogugua, Spokesperson, ICPC, said in July 2022 the Commission received a petition that an ICT Centre constructed by BCDA in Gumel Local Government Area of Jigawa State had no required fittings.
The petition alleged that the Agency handed over a building structure with only five pieces of computers, while there were three halls meant to house complete computer sets.
The Commission recalled that one of the findings of ICPC’s Constituency and Executive Tracking Initiative was that some projects that were certified completed were found not to be so when the Commission went to track them.
However, on Monday, Adavize was arraigned before Hon Justice Peter Kekemeke of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory on a three-count charge bordering on false statements.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges, and his Counsel, AG, Osayande applied that the Defendant be granted bail subject to the overriding convenience of the Court.
One of the counts read: “That you, Suleiman Austin Adavize (m) sometime in May, 2022 or thereabout at the Federal Capital Territory Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court while being an Architect at the Border Community Development Agency did make a false statement in your progress report of September 2021.
That contract for the construction of ICT Centre at Gumel Local Government Area, Jigawa State awarded to Gare Investment Nigeria Limited was 100% complete when you knew it was false as you did not visit the ICT Centre and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 70 (1)(b) of the Public Enterprise Regulatory.”
Meanwhile, Counsel to the ICPC, Eno Ighodaro-Yahaya, did not object to the bail application for the defendant.
Justice Kekemeke on the other hand stated that since there was no objection to the bail application by the Prosecutor, there was no reason to deny the Defendant his freedom.
He said: “The bail application is unopposed; the alleged offence is bailable so there is no reason why the Defendant should be denied bail. He is hereby granted bail in the sum of N2,000,000.00 and one surety in like sum.
He explained that the Surety must be a Pastor in the Church where the defendant worships or the Chairman of the Estate where the Defendant lives or a Senior Officer in the defendant’s place of work.