Former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Vincent Ogbulafor has been called by Abuja High Court on Thursday to answer questions in connection with alleged contract frauds worth N2.3 billion while he held sway as the Minister of Special Duties.
The court also dismissed, for being unmeritorious an application by his Counsel, Chief Joe Gadzama (SAN) and Amaechi Nwaiwu (SAN) asking the court to quash the charges preferred against him by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
While delivering the ruling on the application, Justice Ishaq Bello held that after analyzing the proof of evidence before him, he was of the belief that the prosecution made out sufficient evidence to justify the trial.
Ogbulafor’s lawyers had in their written address and affidavit argued that there was no evidence to show a prima facie case linking him to the 14-counts charges preferred against him, adding specifically that the charge of receiving a cheque of N28 million from Emeka Ebilah through one Chris Nwoke was not sustainable.
The case has been adjourned to November 9th, 10th and 11th, 2010.
The offences were allegedly committed by Ogbulafor and other people charged with him sometimes in March 2001.
Ogbulafor and the two accused persons charged with him were also accused of conspiracy to use NEIC contract verification panel to verify fictitious contract purportedly executed on behalf of the Federal Government by Henchriko Nig. Ltd from which they received the sum of N82 million.
In count five, the three accused persons were charged with using their positions to confer corrupt advantage on themselves by fraudulently receiving from the Federal Government through a proxy Sunday Nmesirianye the sum of N13. 7 million in the name of Emeprol Co. Limited.
Similarly, Ogbulafor and the two accused persons were charged with receiving fraudulently the sum of N6.2 million from the Federal Government through a proxy Chekwas Obinna using the name of a company Chekwas Industries Limited as payment for fictitious contract executed on behalf of the Federal Government.
Out of the 16 count- charges filed against the suspects, Ogbulafor would answer to 12.
In October 2001, Ogbulafor was said to have received the sum of N28 million belonging to the Federal Government from one Emeka Ebilah through a proxy Chris Nwoke knowing same to be fraudulently obtained through the verification and payment of fictitious contracts purportedly executed on behalf of the Federal Government, an act which constituted a felony contrary to Section 13 read in conjunction with Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and other Related Offenses Act 2000.