Crime and MetroNews

Court Orders Arrest of REA Officials over N1bn Fraud Case

A Federal High Court in Abuja has issued a bench warrant for the arrest of three officials of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) over their failure to appear in court for a multi-million-naira fraud case. The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) had charged the officials with receiving approximately N1 billion under the pretence of false project supervision.

Case Details

The ICPC accused the REA employees of fraudulently receiving the funds, and their absence in court prompted the judge to issue an arrest warrant. The defendants, Henrietta Onormen Okojie, Umar Musa Karaye, and Emmanuel Pada Titus, were not represented by counsel, and the prosecution requested their arrest to ensure their presence at the next court date.

Justice Nwite’s Ruling

Justice Emeka Nwite granted the request, issuing arrest warrants and ordering the prosecution to enforce them. The judge set June 13, 2024, for the arraignment of Musa Karaye and Emmanuel Pada Titus, and June 14, 2024, for Henrietta Onormen Okojie.Related DevelopmentIn a separate development, another REA staff member, Usman Ahmed Kwakwa, appeared in court for an alleged N298 million fraud charge. Kwakwa pleaded not guilty to the charges, and his counsel applied for bail, which was granted with conditions to ensure his presence at trial.

Trial Commencement

The trial is set to commence on July 16, 2024. The ICPC’s efforts to tackle corruption in government agencies continue, with this case highlighting the need for accountability and transparency in public service.

Fraud Charges

The charges against the REA officials and Kwakwa are a reminder of the seriousness of fraud offenses in Nigeria. The court’s decision to issue arrest warrants and grant bail with conditions demonstrates the commitment to ensuring that justice is served in this case.

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