N13.6m fraud: EfCC arraigns former NMA Chairman, 4 others in Edo 

Justice must take its course

Court gavel

Jethro Ibileke/Benin

A former Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), in Edo State, Dr. Emmanuel Ighodaro, was Tuesday arraigned at a Benin City High Court, over issues bordering on alleged stealing of N13.6 million and conspiracy to commit fraudulent false accounting.

Also charged in the suit marked: BLCD/EFCC/8/2017, were  Dr. Anthony Owolabi, Dr. Quincy Atoghengbe, Dr. Raymond Ogieva and Dr. Oseremen Gabriel Ogbebor.

The accused persons are facing a 21-count charge preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

According to the prosecuting Counsel, Dr. Ben Ubi, the defendants committed the offence while acting in their capacities as officers of Edo NMA between 2013 and 2014.

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The charge sheet reads in part: “the defendants, knowingly and privies to omitting the UBA Account No. 1010717142, a material particular in an account maintained and operated by the NMA in its  audit report for the accounting year 1st August, 2013 – 31st July, 2014.”

They were also accused of conspiring among themselves “to make a false entry in the audit report of the accounting year, 1st August, 2013 – 31st July 2014, of the association to wit, inserting anticipatory income in the report to cover a loan of six million naira yet to be received and thereby committed an offence.”

When the charges were read to them, the defendants pleaded not guilty.

Counsel to the defendants, Bello Imadegbelo (SAN), thereafter made oral application for their bail.

The Presiding Judge, Justice Efe Igbonmwonba, admitted the defendants on bail at N1 million each and a surety in like sum who must be gainfully employed with evidence of tax clearance.