The Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has arraigned the Director-General of Project Development Institute (PRODA) Enugu, Charles Agulanna before Hon. Justice Buba Ibrahim of the Federal High Court sitting in Enugu, for allegedly committing procurement fraud.
Agulanna, who is facing a 1-count charge, was alleged by the ICPC to have sometime in August, 2017 or thereabout, while being the Director General of Projects Development Institute, committed procurement fraud by awarding a contract for the revaluation of land belonging to PRODA in the sum of N23,500,037.50 to T.O. Thomas & Co., even when the company was not a registered surveyor/valuer and did not submit any memorandum of understanding with any registered surveyor/valuer in its tender bid, an offence contrary to section 58(4)(b) and punishable under section 58(5) of the Public Procurement Act 2007.
When the charge was read to the accused, Agulanna, he pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The defense counsel, G.D. Joshua Esq, who had earlier submitted a written bail application, prayed the court to grant his client bail, stating that his client was a man of credible personality that would not jump bail.
O.J. Ochigbo, the ICPC counsel, did not oppose the bail, but said the court should grant him bail with stringent conditions.
The Presiding Judge, Justice Buba Ibrahim therefore, granted bail to the defendant in the sum of N5m and two reliable sureties in the like sum.
Justice Ibrahim also asked the defendant and his sureties to submit 2 passport photographs each to the court, and thereafter adjourned the matter to the 21st of October 2021 for hearing.
In November 2020, Charles Agulanna was suspended for alleged corruption.The suspension was contained in an internal memo the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha addressed to the Minister of Science and Technology Ogbonnaya Onu.
In the memo dated November 5, the SGF urged the minister to ensure that the director-general complied with the suspension.