by Scroll reporter Lagos Nigeria
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on friday, March 31, 2017 arraigned the duo of Abieyuwa Aideyan and Samuel Akinyemi Akeju alongside their company, First Grant Nigeria Limited, before Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos on a two-count charge bordering on acquisition of public property and disposal of public asset to the tune of N200, 000,000.00(Two Hundred Million Naira).
The offence is contrary to Section 16(23) and 55(3) of the Public Procurement Act 2007 and punishable under Section 58(1) of the same Act.
Count one reads: “That you Samuel Akinyemi Akeju and First Grant Nigeria Limited on or about the 10th day of September 2012 at Lagos within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, unduly influenced the open competitive bidding process as contained in the Guardian Newspaper advertisement of 18th July, 2012 for the disposal of public property known as Pacific Village located in Ijede, Ikorodu Local Government Area of Lagos State when you directly contacted the Managing Director / Chief Executive Officer and the Secretary of Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Plc instead of contacting M&G Chambers, Victoria Island, Lagos as required in the said advertisement and this action facilitated the acceptance of your offer for the acquisition of the land at the sum of N200,000,000 (Two Hundred Million Naira) and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 16(23) and 55(3) of the Public Procurement Act 2007 and punishable under section 58(1) of the same Act.”
Count two reads: ” That you Abieyuwa Aideyan on or about the 18th day of November, 2012 at Lagos within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, and while holding the office of the Secretary to the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Plc (“NSPMP”) did restrict the process of open competitive bidding in disposal of the public property known as Pacific Village located in Ijede, Ikorodu Local Government Area of Lagos State when you unduly favoured First Grant Nigeria Limited which submitted her offer for the acquisition of property directly to the office of Managing Director / Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Plc and rejected the offers submitted by Adprints Network Ltd and Deuxville Ltd through M&G Chambers as required in your company advertisement in the Guardian Newspaper of 18th July, 2012 on the grounds that the offers submitted by Adprints Network Ltd and Deuxville Ltd were late when there was no deadline fixed for the submission of the offers in the said advertisement and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 16(23) and 55(3) of the public procurement Act 2007 and punishable under section 58(5) of the same Act.”
The accused pleaded ‘not guilty’ when the charges were read to them.
In view of their pleas, prosecution counsel, Ekele Iheanacho, asked the court for a trial date and prayed that the accused be reminded in prison custody.
Counsel to the accused persons pleaded with the court to grant their clients bail.
Consequently, Justice Buba granted the accused bail in the sum of N50m each, with one surety in like sum.
Each of the sureties must be resident in Lagos.
The judge also ordered the accused to perfect their bail conditions within three days or risk being remanded in prison custody.
The case was adjourned to May 12, 2017 for trial.