FERMA official on trial for awarding contract to own firm
An Official of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA), Mr. Anthony Odoma, has been arraigned for allegedly awarding contract to his firm.
Justice A. O. Edong of the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Zuba, ordered his remand at the Kuje Prison, Abuja, pending the fulfillment of his bail conditions.
He was arraigned on a one-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.
The ICPC said the contract, which is worth N12million, is “indirectly connected to his office.”
The Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) alleged that he is a director and shareholder in the said firm.
Odoma was the Chief Technical Officer (Highways) with the Federal Ministry of Works, Power and Housing.
Odoma was remanded in Kuje prison pending the fulfillment of his bail conditions, while the case was adjourned till March 21, 2018 for the commencement of hearing.
The ICPC had stated that the offence is contrary to Section 12 of the corrupt practices and other related offences Act, 2000, and punishable under the same section.
When the charge was read to him, the accused entered a “not guilty plea.”
His counsel, Mr. J. E. Adegizi, had also pleaded the court to grant his client “liberal bail” pending the determination of the case.
He relied on the provisions of Section 35 of the 1999 Constitution as amended, and Section 158 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act.
Although the ICPC counsel, John Paul Okwor, did not object to the bail, he prayed the court to grant it under conditions that would compel the defendant to attend the trial.
Having listened to the submissions of both parties, the trial judge granted the accused bail in the sum of N 20million with two sureties in like sum.
The sureties must be officials in the federal civil service, not below Grade Level 14, and whose identities must be established.
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