Senate President Cousn Arraigned For N371m MDG's scam

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arraigned  one Mr. Ope Saraki and Olatunji Moronfoye, both former commissioners in Kwara state government for an alleged N371m  Millennium Development Goals grant scam.
Speaking to newsmen in Abuja, the  EFCC spokesperson Wilson Uwujaren, disclosed  that  the  duo are currently facing different charges at the  Federal High Court Ilorin,  bordering on fraud, abuse of office and diversion of public funds at their disposal and money laundering .

The presiding judge. Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo faulted Ope Saraki, who was the former commissioner for Millennium Development Goals in the state, to have allegedly involve himself in the diversion of public grants, earmarked  to develop rural infrastructure as well as allowing fund accrued to his office be used in conjunction with Mr Olatunji Moronfoye, erstwhile state commissioner for Information for selfish means.
Moronfoye who served as the commissioner for MDGs under the senate president Senator Bukola when he was the governor of  Kwara State, Ope served under the current Governor of Kwara State, Abdulfatah Ahmed.
Moronfoye and Saraki, who were first arraigned on May 13, 2015, had to re-enter their plea on Tuesday following the transfer of the former trial judge, Justice A. O. Faji.
According to the anti-graft agency, Moronfoye, while being the Special Adviser to former Governor Saraki (now Senate President) allegedly used his position to enrich himself.
The EFCC alleged that Moronfoye awarded contracts to the tune of N200m for the renovation of Ijagbo Primary Health Centre and specialist hospitals within the state to a company in which he had interests and was the sole signatory to its account.

It said Ope allegedly abused his office and laundered state funds for his personal benefit by awarding inflated contracts to companies owned by his cronies.

The commission said in one of the transactions involving the purchase of buses for the state, Ope fraudulently procured 13 Hiace buses from a “local car dealer” and converted the vehicle to an ambulance instead of a factory-built ambulance for which a contract of N171, 990, 000 was awarded to Chemiroy Nigeria Limited.

One of the charges read in part, “That you, Ope Saraki, being the Special Adviser on Millennium Development Goals to Governor of Kwara State sometime in 2012 at Ilorin within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did by undue interest conducted procurement fraud in the procurement of 13 units of ambulance for 13 General Specialists Hospitals in Kwara State at the sum of N171,990, 000, a contract awarded to Chemiroy Nigeria Limited and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 58 (4) (b) of the Public Procurement Act, 2007 and punishable under Section 58 (5) 0f the same Act.”

Moronfoye and Saraki pleaded not guilty to the three and five counts preferred against them respectively.

In view of their pleas, counsel for the EFCC, Joseph Uzor, urged the court for a date to commence trial.



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