ICPC Arraigns Former Kogi Commissioner for N35.5m Fraud

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offenses Commission (ICPC) has arraigned former commissioner for agriculture in Kogi State, Hon. Zaccheaus Atte in court on an eight count charges bordering on financial impropriety to the tune of N 35.5 million contrary to section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.
The arraignment which took place at the High Court in Okene, saw the trial judge, Justice Josiah Joe Majebi, explaining the procedure of the trial to the accused and asked whether he understood the charges preferred against him or not.
When the charges were read to him, the accused person, Hon Zaccheaus Atte, pleaded not guilty.
The charges against the accused include that he used his office as the commissioner for agriculture in Kogi State to convert the sum of N 11, 937, 000 (eleven million, nine hundred and thirty seven thousand naira) under the pretext of purchasing and distributing two hundred thousand sprouted oil palm nut to Kogi State Oil Palm Farmers in February, 2015.
He is also being accused of cornering the sum of N350, 000 (three hundred and fifty thousand naira) on the pretext of distributing 100, 000 Cocoa Seedlings to Cocoa Farmers in the state in August, 2015; and also converting N8, 873, 766.85k (eight million, eight hundred and seventy three thousand, seven hundred and sixty six naira ad eighty five kobo) under the pretext of Oil Palm Sprouted Nuts in May, 2015.
Also, the ICPC accused Hon. Atte of corruptly enriching himself in January, 2015 in the sum of N 2, 849, 958.75k (two million, eight hundred and forty nine thousand, nine hundred and fifty eight naira, seventy kobo) under the pretext of purchasing two units of Sharp Photocopiers.
Other charges include the accused using his office as Commissioner in the state to siphon various amounts of public funds meant for various projects for which he got approvals, but decided to pocket the monies released.
The ICPC legal team led by Barr John Paul Okwor, told the court that they were ready for the trial and asked for a date for them to present their witnesses, but the defense counsel, led by Barr. Adebayo Eniwaye quickly asked for bail for their client.
The prosecution counsel did not oppose the bail application, but the trial judge, Justice Josiah Medubi observed that because the motion was not dated, it was not ripe for hearing.
Meanwhile Justice Medubi has remanded the accused person in prison custody pending the next hearing in the case on June 20th, 2017, before determining the bail application.