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Ex-BPE DG arraigned over ‘N26bn scam’ — nearly six years after TheCable’s exposé

Ex-BPE DG arraigned over ‘N26bn scam’ — nearly six years after TheCable’s exposé
March 01
18:37 2021

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned Benjamin Dikki, former director-general of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), over alleged corruption and abuse of office.

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Investigations by TheCable in 2015 had uncovered retrospective payments of insurance premiums totalling N27 billion by the BPE for “cover” not provided to the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).

In a statement on Monday, Wilson Uwajaren, EFCC’s head of media and publicity, said the former BPE director-general appeared before Yusuf Halilu, judge of a federal capital territory high court.

Dikki and his company, Kebna Studios & Communications Limited, were arraigned on a four-count charge of allegedly receiving gratification worth about N1 billion from Bestworth Insurance Brokers.

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Count one of the charges read: “That you Benjamin Ezra Dikki, while being the Director General of Bureau of Public Enterprise and also the Managing Director of Kebna Studios & Communications Limited, and Kebna Studios & Communications Limited, on or about 30th day of January, 2015, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did corruptly accept as reward the sum of N250,000,000.00 (Two Hundred and Fifty Million Naira) only through Kebna Studios & Communications Limited’s Skye Bank Account No.1771649525 from Bestworth Insurance Brokers Limited for your role in facilitating the approval of outstanding insurance premiums and claims of deceased and incapacitated staff of Power Holding Company of Nigeria( PHCN), and thereby committed and offence contrary to Section 17(1)(a) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences ACT, 2000 and punishable under Section (17)(c) of the same Act.”

Dikki pleaded not guilty to the charges while Benjamin Menji, the prosecution counsel, asked that the court remand the defendant.

“We shall be asking for a date to enable us assemble our witnesses and to prove the entire counts against the defendants and we shall urge the court to remand the first defendant in a correctional facility pending commencement of his trial,” Menji said.

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The judge granted Benjamin’s request and remanded the defendant in Suleja Correctional Centre.

The matter has been adjourned to March 3.

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