The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arraigned Ope Saraki, a cousin of the former Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, for alleged diversion of N221,339,827.00 Kwara State Government funds.
Saraki was on Thursday charged before Justice Adenike Akinpelu of a Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin on two counts bordering on alleged diversion of funds meant for contract for purchase of 13 ambulances and 13 generators for 13 General/Specialist Hospitals in the state.
The EFCC alleged that Saraki, while serving as Special Adviser on Millennium Development Goal to the Kwara State government, allegedly acquired indirectly a contract worth N171,990,000.00 for the purchase of 13 units of ambulance for 13 General/Specialist hospitals to Chemiroy Nigeria Limited.
The prosecution also alleged that the accused person knowingly acquired in contract worth N49,349,827.00 to MC Drive Logistics and Institutes Limited for 13 units of 100 KVA generators for 13 General/Specialist hospitals in the state.
The offences, the prosecutor alleged, were contrary to section 12 of Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Act 2000 and punishable under the same law.
Saraki pleaded not guilty to the two charges.
The prosecuting counsel, Sesan Ola, urged the court to remand the accused person in any of the correctional facilities within the state.
However, the defence counsel, Dr Kayode Olatoke(SAN), prayed the court to grant the accused person bail in liberal terms adding that Saraki is a man of substance who would not jump bail if granted.
Olatoke said the accused person had been facing similar charge at the Federal High Court sitting in Ilorin and his travelling documents had been deposited with the court since 2015.
“The defendant had been charged before the Federal High Court for similar offence since 2015, he was granted bail and his travelling documents have been deposited in the court. He has not run away from the country since then and he can not run away. He is a bonafide citizen of this country and he has no place to run to”, he said.
Justice Akinpelu granted the accused person bail in the sum of N300m and two sureties in like sum.
The case was adjourned till April,16, 2020 for hearing.
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