Court Orders Arrest of 3 Electricity Agency Officials for Alleged N1.8bn Fraud


Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Thursday, ordered the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to arrest three officials of the Rural Electrification Agency for failure to appear in court for their arraignment.

The commission had charged the officials – Emmanuel Pada Titus, Umar Musa Laraye, and Henrietta Onomen Okojie, for alleged N1.853 billion fraud.

The ICPC filed a separate four-count charge against the three men for alleged misappropriation of public funds meant for the provision of electricity to rural communities across the country.

When the three cases were called on Thursday, the defendants were not in court to take their plea.

The prosecution counsel, Osuobeni Akponimisingha, told the court that the defendants were served with copies of the charges and duly informed of the day’s proceedings, but chose to stay away of their own volition.

Akponimisingha urged the judge to issue a bench warrant for the arrest of the three men.

He cited Sections 114, 124, and 184 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), 2015, to back his application.

In a short ruling, the judge granted the lawyer’s application.

Nwite held that he was convinced that the defendants deliberately stayed away from the court while delivering separate rulings on each of the applications.

He ordered that the defendants should be produced in court on the next adjourned date.

The judge adjourned Titus and Karaye’s cases till June 13 for arraignment and fixed June 14 for the arraignment of Okojie.