A member of the House of Representatives, Oghuma Egwakhide, has been arraigned by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) for allegedly collecting N1.6 million as bribe from three contractors.
Penpushing reports that the commission in a statement said the lawmaker representing Etsako East/West/Central Federal Constituency, Edo State was charged on a four-count before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Jabi, Abuja.
The commission accused Egwakhide of collecting kickbacks from contractors handling school projects in his constituency, adding that investigations revealed that he, demanded 10 per cent kickbacks from the N16.5 million contract for the construction of one block of three classrooms at Fugar Mixed Secondary School, in Etsako Central local government area, as part of the constituency project he sponsored in 2018.
“He was alleged to have then collected N1.6 million from Feola Ventures Nigeria Ltd, the company handling the project as a bribe after the award of the contract by the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing,” the statement said.
“The Commission told the court that his actions amounted to receipt of gratification and abuse of office in violations of Sections 10 and 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and punishable under the same act.”
Penpushing further reports that, when the charge was read to the accused he pleaded not guilty, while his counsel, Samuel Sibiri, prayed the court to grant him bail on self-recognizance and the prayer was not opposed by the prosecution lawyer, Adesina Raheem.
The counsel, however, pleaded with the court to grant the accused bail in such terms that would effectively secure his attendance in court, while the trial judge, Justice Adebukola Banjoko consequently admitted him to bail in the sum of N20 million with two sureties in like sum.
Penpushing reports that, the judge ruled that the sureties must be resident of Federal Capital Territory (FCT (, Abuja, and should be gainfully employed, must submit two passport photographs with the court registrar as well as provide evidence of tax clearance for the last three years.
Meanwhile, the accused was later granted bail after fulfilling the bail conditions and the matter was then adjourned to November 17 for the continuation of trial.