N894m Contract Scam: Court adjourns Bankole’s trial to May 28

The Abuja Division ofthe Federal High Court, Friday, fixed May 28 to resume trial of the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole.

The ex-Speaker is answering to a 16-count criminal charge that was entered against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

The anti-graft agency had in its charge, alleged that Bankole rigged bid for the purchase of 3units of Mercedes Benz S-600 cars, 2 units of Range Rovervehicles (without bullet proofs) and 400 units of DSTV systems, by refusingto follow all the procedures prescribed for public procurements in Sections 17 to 56 of the Public Procurement Act No.14 of 2007, leading to a loss of value to the national treasury and thereby committed anoffence contrary to Section 58(4)(e) of the Public Procurement Act, No.14 of 2007 and punishable under Section 58(5) of the same Act.

The commission told the court that the illicit deals that formed conduit pipes through which monies were pilfered by the accused person during his headship of the 6th Session of the House of Reps, included the purchase of 400 units of 40-inch Samsung (LNS. 341) television sets, 800 units of Desktop Computers (HP Compaq dc 5700), 100 units of Sharp Digital Copier 5316, 400 units of HP LaserJet 2600N, among others.

Though the anti-graft agency had almost closed its case after calling about four witnesses that testified against the ex-Speaker, however, owing to the transfer of the former trial Judge, Justice Donatus Okorowo, out of the Abuja Division, the case commenced de-nono (afresh)

At the resumed hearing on the case yesterday, a star witness of the EFCC, Mr Adeboye Adeniyi, narrated before the court how an investigative team ofthe commission found the ex-Speaker culpable.

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