Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja
The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission has said that it is set to resume the prosecution of a former Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Sunday Ehindero, at a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, for alleged criminal conversion of money belonging to the Ministry of Police Affairs into personal use while he was at the helm of the Nigeria Police Force.
The spokesperson for the ICPC, Mrs. Rasheedat Okoduwa, revealed this to our correspondent in an interview on Thursday.
Okoduwa revealed that the development followed a ruling of the Supreme Court which dismissed the appeal filed by Ehindero challenging the jurisdiction of the commission and that of the FCT High Court to try him.
Ehindero, who succeeded the convicted Tafa Balogun as IG in 2004, was said to have alleged diverted funds from the account of the police.
He was arraigned in 2012 but rather than face the charges in court, he continued to challenge the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court until the matter got to the Supreme Court.
Okoduwa said, “Mr. Ehindero and an accomplice had in 2012 been arraigned on six counts for allegedly conspiring to criminally convert public funds totalling N16,412,315.00 being interests generated from the sum of N557,995,065.00 police money he had placed in two fixed deposit accounts at Wema Bank Plc and the defunct Intercontinental Bank Plc.
“The said money was donated by the Bayelsa State Government to the Force at the time to enable it to purchase equipment for proper policing of the state.
“When the principal sum donated was to be transferred to the Ministry of Police Affairs from the accounts, the interests earned were not transferred with it, and that formed the crux of the allegations against the accused.”
She further explained June 6, 2012, Ehindero filed a motion on notice, by way of preliminary objection, wherein he prayed the trial court for orders: dismissing and/or striking out the amended charge for want of jurisdiction; quashing the amended charge against him for want of competency and; debarring any official of ICPC from prosecuting him for not having constitutional power to do so among others.
In the reserved ruling delivered on September 21, 2012, the trial judge had dismissed the application in its entirety.
Thereafter, the former IG proceeded to the Court of Appeal and again his appeal was dismissed by the appellate court sitting in Abuja on January 14, 2014.
A.D. Yahaya and T. Akomolafe-Wilson, JJCA concurred with the lead judgment of A. A. Adumein, JCA.
Ehindero took the matter to the Supreme Court where he has been asked to face his trial.
The ICPC spokesperson added, “The matter ought to have come up on Wednesday April 11, 2018 for further mention before Justice S.C. Oriji of FCT High Court 10 sitting in Apo but the court did not sit.
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