Six Rural Electricity Agency directors jailed over N5.2bn scam

A high court in the federal capital territory (FCT) has sentenced six people to various jail terms for a N5.2 billion electricity project scam.

Those convicted are Samuel Ibi, former managing director Rural Electricity Agency (REA); Abdullahi Aliyu, former permanent secretary of the ministry of power; Simon Kirdi Nanle, an accountant in REA; Kayode Orekoya, director of projects; Abdusamad Garba Hahun, assistant director; and Kayode Oyedeji, head of legal department.

They were charged to court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for criminal breach of trust by fraudulently awarding contracts for grid extension and solar electricity from the amended 2008 budget of the REA.

They were said to have facilitated the withdrawal of the sum of N119.7 million from the account of the agency domiciled in Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

During the trial, Kemi Pinheiro, prosecution counsel, called seven witnesses.

Paul Ewekoro, counsel to the defendants, made a no case submission which was overruled by the court and thereafter asked the accused to open their defences.

The court fixed February 8 for judgement after some of the accused persons testified.

Delivering judgement on the matter on Thursday, Adebukola Banjoko, the judge, held that prosecution had established by evidence all ingredients of the offences against the defendants.

The defendants were convicted and sentenced as follows: “The first defendant was sentenced to three years imprisonment with an option of N5 million fine and the third to sixth defendants were sentenced to three years imprisonment with an option of N500,000 fine each – payable within the 30 days”.