The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned Mr Ugwuocha Okoroafor former Coordinator of Afikpo South Local Government Development Centre of Ebonyi, and two others on charges of fraud.
Mr Wilson Uwujaren, Head, Media and Publicity, EFCC, made the disclosure on Thursday in Abuja in a statement issued to newsmen.
He said that Okoroafor and the two others were arraigned on Thursday on a 15-count charge of conspiracy and stealing public funds of more than N25 million.
He said that the two others arraigned were Okoroafor’s treasurer, Christian Chukwu Owo, and the administrative officer, Mrs Anne Eke Agwu.
He said that the accused were bought before Justice E.A. Ngene of the State High Court, Afikpo
According to the EFCC spokesman, Okoroafor and his alleged accomplices were reported to have at various times between 2013 and 2015 raised vouchers for payments.
He said that the payments were supposedly for contract awards, salaries and Independence Day celebrations in the names of staff of the council, who denied receiving such funds.
“Investigation revealed that the accused persons padded their salaries and that of other staff in connivance with a staff of the bank where the local government’s account is domiciled.
“The investigation showed that the sum of N16 million and eight million naira were at different times traced to the accused person’s account which their income profile could not justify,’’ he said.
Uwujaren said that when the charges were read to accused, they pleaded not guilty.
He said that counsel to the accused persons; M.O. Njoko and B.O Igwenyi (SAN) asked the court to release their clients on bail.
The court granted bail to each of the accused persons in the sum of N500,000 and one surety each in like sum.
The judge ruled that the surety must be a resident of the state, who has a landed property within the jurisdiction and must present an evidence of three years of tax payment and adjourned the case till Sept. 21 for commencement of trial.