By Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday arraigned a former Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) and four others Medical Doctors before a Benin High court over alleged fraud.
Ighodaro and four other defendants, Dr. Anthony Owolabi, Dr. Quincy Atoghengbe, Dr. Raymond Ogieva and Dr. Oseremen Gabriel Ogbebor in the charge sheet marked: BLCD/EFCC/8/2017 on offences bordering on alleged theft of N21.7 million and conspiracy to commit fraudulent false accounting.
The accused persons are standing trial on 21-count charge preferred against them by the EFCC.
The prosecuting Counsel, Dr. Ben Ubi, Esq. informed the court on Wednesday that the defendants committed the offence while acting in their capacities as officers of Edo NMA between 2013 and 2014.
Part of the charge sheet reads: “the defendants, knowingly and privies to omitting the UBA Account No. 1010717142, a material particular in an account maintained and operated by the NMA in its audit report for the accounting year 1st August, 2013- 31st July, 2014”.
The accused persons were also accused of conspiring among themselves “to make a false entry in the audit report of the accounting year, 1st August, 2013- 31st July 2014 of the association to wit, inserting anticipatory income in the report to cover a loan of six million naira yet to be received and thereby committed an offence”.
The defendants however pleaded not guilty to the offences when the charges were read to them, while, their Counsel, Bello Imadegbelo (SAN) applied for their bail which the Presiding Judge, Efe Igbonmwonba was admitted.
Justice Igbonmwonba thereafter granted the defendants bail in the like sum of N1 million each and a surety who must be gainfully employed; with evidence of tax clearance.