Procurement Act: Institute of Directors boss, Mint Secretary docked

Procurement Act: Institute of Directors boss, Mint Secretary docked

Saturday, April 1, 2017 10:18 am

Scale of justice

Akin Kuponiyi

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Friday arraigned the President of Institute of Directors (IoD), Mr. Samuel Akinyemi Akeju before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos south west Nigeria for offences bordering on acting contrary to the Public Procurement Act, in purchasing government property.

Arraigned alongside the IoD president were: Mrs. Abieyuwa Aideyan, Secretary of the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Plc, and Akeju’s company, First Grant Nigeria Limited.

EFCC in an amended charge marked FHC/L/41c/17, filed before the court Akeju and his company were alleged to have on September 10, 2012, unduly influence the opening competitive bidding as contained in the Guardian newspaper advertisement of July 18, 2012, for disposal of government property known as Pacific Village, located at Ijede, in Ikorodu Local Government area of Lagos State by directly contacting the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, and the Secretary of Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Plc (NSPMP), instead of contacting M&G Chambers, Victoria Island, as required in the advertisement, which resulted in his offer for the acquisition of the land at the sum of N200 million.
The EFCC also alleged furthat NSPMP Secretary, Mrs. Aideyan, had on or about November 18, 2012, restricted the process of opening competitive bidding in the disposal of the said property ‘Pacific Village’, when she unduly favoured Akeju’s company, ‘First Grant Nigeria Limited, which submitted her offer for the acquisition of the property directly to the office of the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of NSPMP, and rejected the offer submitted by Adprint Network Limited, and Duexville Limited submitted through M&G Chambers, as required in Guardian’s advertisement of July 18, 2012.

The offences alleged to have been committed by the accused persons are contrary to Sections 16(23) and 55(3), and punishable under sections 58(1) and 58(8) of the Public Procurement Act, 2007.

However, the two defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Upon their not guilty pleas, Akeju’s counsel Mr. Norrison Quakers (SAN), told the court of his client’s bail, and urged the court to admit his client to bail in the most liberal terms.

Also, Aideyan’s lawyer Kehinde Diya, pleaded with the court to allow him to orally apply for his client’s bail, as he’s yet to officially file the application.
However, the presiding judge, Justice Ibrahim Buba, granted bail to the two defendants in the sum of N50 million with one reliable surety each. The two sureties according to the judge are to file an affidavit of means and livelihood with their two passport photographs affix to it, and have their addresses verified.

Justice Buba however gave the defendants three days to perfect the bail conditions, after which they will be remanded in Prison’s custody.

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