The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has rearraigned Okoi Obono-Obla, the suspended chairman of the Special Presidential Investigation Panel (SPIP).
Obono-Obla was rearraigned alongside Aliyu Ibrahim, his senior assistant on special duties (protocol), on a five-count charge bordering on conspiracy, diversion of public fund, conferment of unfair advantage, and failure to honour the invitation of the anti-graft agency.
The case is before Olukayode Adeniyi, judge of a federal capital territory (FCT) high court.
Previously, the defendants were arraigned on January 22 alongside one Daniel Omughele, managing director of ABR Global Petroleum Resources Limited, on a 10-count charge bordering on diversion of N19.9 million meant for furnishing the SPIP office.
However, at the court session on Wednesday, Olusola Bayeshea, prosecution counsel, sought the leave of court to amend the charge.
With no objection from the counsel for the defendants, the judge granted the application for amendment.
When the amended charge was read to the two defendants, they pleaded not guilty.
The ICPC alleged that Obono-Obla and Ibrahim conspired to divert “the sum of N10,174,000 being part of the N15,187,917 paid to some contractors by the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) for furnishing SPIP offices into the account of ABR Global Petroleum Resources Ltd, where Ibrahim is a director and signatory to its account”.
According to the commission, the offence contravenes Section 26(1)(c) and is punishable under Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.
The former SPIP chairman was also accused to have in July 2018, “failed to honour an invitation from an officer of ICPC to assist in the investigation for the purpose of examination in relation to the allegations against him, thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 28(1)(a) and punishable under Section 28(10) of the ICPC Act”.
The case has been adjourned to May 24, 26, and 27 for hearing.