The on-going trial of Stephen Ropo Asala and Obaro Victor Kayode, former chairmen Yagba West and Yagba East Local Government Areas of Kogi State respectively by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, continued on April 9, 2014, before Justice I.E Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Lokoja.
At the resumed hearing Wednesday, a witness, Joseph Alagbade who was the Head of Works Department during the tenure of the second accused, (Kayode )while being cross-examined by counsel to EFCC, Wahab Shittu told the court that he was kept in the dark regarding the cost of projects and the loans allegedly obtained by the accused to execute the projects.
According to him, projects were not supposed to be funded with loan facilities without due approval of the Local Government Ministry and General Purpose Finance Committee.
The two ex-chairmen are being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on a 16-count amended charge bordering on misappropriation of public funds, punishable under section 1(3) of Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, 2006.
Asala is alleged to have misappropriated N424m (four hundred and twenty four million naira) while Kayode allegedly siphoned N476m (four hundred and seventy six million naira) when both of them held sway as bosses for their respective councils.
One of the charge reads:
“That you Stephen Asala (m) while being the Executive Chairman of Yagba West Local Government Council, Kogi State between 2008 and 4th June, 2010 in Kogi State within the Jurisdiction of the Federal High Court under the guise of deducting value added tax (VAT) fraudulently converted the gross sum of (N7,251,062,02) only property of Yagba West Local Government of Kogi State , and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 40 of Federal Inland Revenue Act 2007 and also punishable under section 40 of same Act”.
Another one reads:
“That you Obaro Victor Kayode (m) while being the Executive Chairman of Yagba East Local Government Council of Kogi State between 2009 and 2010 within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court , with intent to defraud obtained by false pretence the gross sum of (N374,885,915.36 ) property of the Yagba East Local Government Area of Kogi State and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 1(1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud Other Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under section 1(3) of same Act”.
Justice Ekwo adjourned the case to May 14, 2014 for continuation of trial.
Media & Publicity
9th April, 2014
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