Judiciary

ICPC arraigns court official for taking kickback

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) says it has arraigned a Deputy Chief Registrar of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt, Nkem Mba, for taking kickback.

According to a statement by the ICPC’s spokesperson, Azuka Ogugua, the defendant was arraigned last Tuesday (July 19) on three charges of abuse of office and corrupt demand of gratification by a public officer.

ICPC prosecutors told the trial judge, Leteem Nyordee, that the offences contravened Section 10 and 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000, and are punishable under relevant sections of the same Act.

One of the counts revealed as a Deputy Chief Registrar of the Federal High Court, Ms Mba, received a kickback of N500,000 through her bank account from the purchase of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), popularly known as diesel, and other products.

She, however, justified her action on the grounds that the money was her two per cent entitlement according to Order 16 of the Admiralty Jurisdiction (Procedure Rule) 2011.

The accused pleaded “not guilty” to all three charges when they were read to her in court.

Consequently, her counsel, S. Somiari, applied for her bail. The lawyer pleaded with the judge to grant her bail on liberal terms.

Deputy Chief Registrar of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt, Nkem Mba was arriagned by the ICPC

The prosecuting counsel, Agada Akogwu, did not oppose the bail application, the ICPC statement said.

Meanwhile, the trial judge, in granting the prayers, granted the defendant bail in the sum of N500,000 with a surety who must have landed property in Port Harcourt.

The judge further ruled that the accused must deposit her passport with the court’s registrar.

The case was then adjourned until July 26 for commencement of trial. (PREMIUM TIMES)

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