2 Face Trial Over Theft Of N4.5m Fertiliser


The war against corrupt public office holders has caught up with two officials of Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources Irua in Esan Central in Edo state.


The officials, Mr.Okoh Sylvester Ehizua (a chief Superintendent Agriculture officer) and Mr. Osaretin Aiyeki(store man) were arrested and are now facing trial for allegedly stealing fertilizer worth N4,515,300.


They were charged with conspiracy, felony and stealing.


According to the case file number MA4OC/2011, the two suspects were arraigned at Irua magistrate’s court for the offence.


The police investigation report issued after the preliminary investigation allegedly found the accused culpable for the alleged looting and stealing of the fertilizer owned by the state.


The fertilizer was kept at the Irua store of the Ministry of Agriculture where the two officers were in charge and the allegedly took advantage of their position to convert the said fertilizer to cash and made away with the proceeds.


The store was said to lost NOK 15-15 and Urea worth N4,515,300.


When the incident happened, the Ministry issued queries to the accused and Mr. Okoh Sylvester Ehizua replied on 8 July, 2011 and pleaded guilty to the charge and further pleaded with the state government to temper justice with mercy.


He for over 30 years he has maintained a clean record of service and that he has but a few years more before he will retire from service and that if the state can only look to his past they would know that this was a mistake.


He pleaded with the state government to consider the implication that the trial and punishment would have on his wife and children that were currently in the university who are likely to be rusticated due to financial constraints.


He pleaded with the state government that if pardoned he would refund the stolen money instalmentally as he was deeply sorry for his act.


However when the case came up in court he pleaded not guilty to the charge.


The Edo government decided to charge him to court to use his case as a warning to others in the civil service that had been milking the state for years and that the outcome of the case will serve as deterrent to others.


After the two lawyers had addressed the court the Magistrate court decided to adjourn the case till 8 August, 2011 for further hearing on the matter.


By Yomi Obaditan/Benin

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