An official of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA), Mr. Anthony Odoma, has been arraigned before Justice A. O. Edong of Federal Capital Territory High Court 35 sitting in Zuba by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) for allegedly awarding a contract to a company in which he is the director and a shareholder.
Mr. Odoma, who is Chief Technical Officer (Highways) with the Federal Ministry of Works, Power and Housing, was arraigned on a 1-count charge bordering on holding “a private interest in a contract awarded to Odoma Investment Limited by FERMA for the repairs of failed sections of Damaturu-Biu road worth Twelve Million Naira (N12,000,000), a contract that is indirectly connected to his office.”
This was contrary to Section 12 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and punishable under the same section.
After the charge was read to him, the accused entered a “not-guilty plea.”
His counsel, Mr. J. E. Adegizi, relying on the provisions of Section 35 of the 1999 Constitution as amended and Section 158 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, sought the relief of the court to grant his client “liberal bail” pending the determination of the case.
However, in a swift reaction, ICPC counsel, John Paul Okwor, prayed the court to grant bail under conditions that would compel the defendant to attend trial.
Having listened to the submissions of both parties, the trial judge therefore granted bail to the accused in the sum of Two Million Naira (N2,000,000) and two sureties in like sum who must be civil servants in the Federal Civil Service, not below Grade Level 14 and whose identities must be established.
Mr. Odoma will be remanded in Kuje prison pending the fulfillment of his bail conditions while the case has been adjourned to March 21, 2018 for commencement of hearing.
If convicted, the accused shall be liable to 7 years imprisonment.