The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned one Ope Saraki, cousin to the former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, before a Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin, over allegation of contract scam.
The Ilorin Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), had on Thursday arraigned Ope Saraki on a two-count charge bordering on employment scam, put at over N200 million.
According to EFCC, Saraki while serving as Special Adviser to the Kwara State Government knowingly acquired a contract.
“A supply of 13 Ambulances to General Hospitals, into a company of interest,” the prosecutor told the court.
Count one of the charge reads: “That you, Ope Saraki, sometime in 2012 whilst being the special adviser to the Governor of Kwara State on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) knowingly acquired indirectly a private interest.
“Contract worth N171,990,000 awarded to Chemistry Nigeria Limited, for the purchase of 13 units of Ambulances for 13 general/specialist hospitals in Kwara State.
“A contract connected to your office, contrary to Section 12 of the Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Act, 2000, and punishable under the same law”.
Ope Saraki however pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The Prosecuting Counsel, Sesan Ola, prayed the court for a trial date in view of the plea of the defendant.
“We also asked that the accused be remanded in the custody of the Nigeria Correctional Service pending the hearing and determination of the case,” Mr Ola prayed the court.
The Defence Counsel, Joshua Olatoke, however urged the court to grant bail to his client, pending the hearing and determination of the case.
Mr Olatoke said the defendant would not jump bail, as his international passport had been in the custody of EFCC.
In her ruling, Justice Adenike Akinpelu granted bail to the defendant in the sum of N300 million, and two sureties with verifiable addresses.
She said Mr Saraki should remain in the custody of the EFCC till he perfects his bail conditions, and adjourned the case till April 16, for hearing.