Dr. Agunloye, Former Minister of Power, Arraigned, Detained for $6billion Fraud

Dr. Agunloye, Former Minister of Power, Arraigned, Detained for $6billion Fraud

Former Minister of Power and Steel Development, Dr. Olu Agunloye on Wednesday joined the league of past political office holders, undergoing investigations over their past deeds as he was remanded at the Kuje Correctional Centre after his arraignment in court, for allegations bordering on $6 billion fraud at the Mambilla power project. Kuje Correctional Centre

Former Minister of Power and Steel Development, Dr. Olu Agunloye on Wednesday joined the league of past political office holders, undergoing investigations over their past deeds as he was remanded at the Kuje Correctional Centre after his arraignment in court, for allegations bordering on $6 billion fraud at the Mambilla power project.

Kuje Correctional Centre is fast becoming very popular for hosting high profile political office holders. Former House of Representatives member, Hon. Farouk Lawan, Governor Jolly Nyame, Former Governor Joshua Dariye among others have been either inmates or detained at the Correctional Center.

It was the turn of Dr. Agunloye on Wednesday, when the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned him before Justice J.O Onwuegbuzie of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, High Court, Apo, Abuja. His stay at the Correctional Center may be short as his counsel, Mr. Adeola Adedipe, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) would on Thursday, 11 January argue his bail application. The Judge has set the 11 January date for Mr. Adedipe to move the bail application.

Dr. Agunloye was arraigned on seven count charges bordering on fraudulent award of contract and official corruption.

One of the count reads: “That you, Olu Agunloye, whilst being the Minister of Power and Steel on or about the 22nd of May, 2003 in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court awarded a contract, titled “Construction of 3,960mw Mambilla Hydroelectric Power Station on a Build, Operate and Transfer Basis” to Sunrise Power and Transmission Company Limited without any budgetary provision, approval and cash backing and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 22(4) of the Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Act, 2000.”

Another count reads: “That you, Olu Agunloye, on or about the 10th of August, 2019 in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, corruptly received the sum of Three Million Six Hundred Thousand Naira (N3,600,000.00) through your Guaranty Trust Bank account no.0022530926 from Sunrise Power and Transmission Company Limited (SPTCL) and Leno Adesanya for having conveyed the “approval of the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for the construction of the 3,960 megawatts Mambilla Hydroelectric Power Station” in favour of SPTCL which you did whilst serving as the Minister of Power and Steel without the approval of the Federal Executive Council contrary to and punishable under Section 8(1)(a) and (b) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.”

The former Minister pleaded “not guilty” to all the charges when they were read to them. Thereafter, prosecution counsel, Mr. Abba Muhammed prayed the court for a trial date and to remand the defendant in a Correctional Centre.

However, his counsel, Adeola Adedipe, SAN, informed the court that he has filed a bail application for the defendant and prayed the court to grant him bail and commit him to the custody of the EFCC.

Justice Onwuegbuzie ruled that the defendant be remanded in Kuje Correctional Centre and set Thursday, January 11, 2024 for hearing on the bail application.

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