SAN FRANCISCO, April 04, (THEWILL) – Justice I. E. Ekwo of the Federal High Court sitting in Calabar, Cross Rivers State has remanded the Chief Medical Director of University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Professor Thomas. U. Agan, two other staffers of the university and promoters of two companies in prison custody.
This follows their arraignment on Monday by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on a five- count charge bordering on alleged conspiracy, bid rigging, abuse of office and breach of due process contrary to the Procurement Act of 2007.
The two staffers are Offor Jonan Offor, Head, Works and Engineering and Francis I. Utu, Chief Administrative Officer and Head, Legal Services. The other two accused persons remanded in prison are Okocha Anthony and Emmanuel Etta Nkim, both owners of Anchor Industrial & Construction Services Nigeria Limited and Basemark Energy Nigeria Limited, respectively. The companies were allegedly used to perpetrate the fraud.
Agan and his two other colleagues were alleged to have used their positions to corruptly influence the award of the purchase of a Life Support Ambulance Vehicle and one Toyota Coaster Bus to Anchor Industrial and Construction Services Nigeria and Basemark Energy Nigeria Limited by inflating their costs and without following due procurement process to the tune of N85, 062,000.00, thereby contravening the provisions of the Public Procurement Act 2007.
When the charges were read to the defendants, they all pleaded not guilty.
In view of their pleas, prosecution counsel, Kayode Oni asked the court to remand the defendants in prison custody and to fix a date for trial. However, an attempt by the defence counsel, Mba Ukwenyi, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, to move an oral application for bail for his clients was refused by the judge who ordered that a formal application be filed.
Justice Ekwo adjourned the case to May 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 for trial and ordered that the accused persons be remanded in prison custody.
SOURCE: The Nigerian Voice (local news)