ICPC arraigns ex-House of Representatives member over N68.7m contract fraud
A former Member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Onadeko Onamusi, has been dragged to court by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) over his alleged involvement in the award and execution of a N68.7 million contract.
Onamusi who was arraigned before Justice C. N. Oji of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Apo, Abuja, on an 18-count charge, was accused by the Commission of using his private company, Haines and Baines, to execute several contracts for the National Assembly while working as a Senior Legislative Aide in the same place.
ICPC told the court that several contracts for buying ambulance vehicles, supply of hospital equipment and drugs for Primary Health Centres, as well as construction of classrooms for some selected schools in six communities of Ogun East Senatorial District, were awarded to Haines and Baines, where the Senior Legislative Aide doubles as a Managing Director, an action that violates Sections 12 and 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.
The charge sheet revealed that Onamusi received contracts in November, 2016, from the National Assembly for the construction of blocks of three classrooms at Odogbulu Grammar School, Ogun East; Ijebu Imushin Comprehensive High School, Ijebu East; United Anglican Primary School, Iworo, Ijebu North-East; and St. Barnabas Anglican Primary School, Ilishan/Ikenna, Ogun East, at the total cost of N43.6 million.
His company further got contracts for the supply of hospital equipment, drugs and ambulance vehicles for Community Health Centre, Itele, Ijebu East; Obada Health Centre, Oke-Sopin, Ijebu North; and Obada Health Centre, Ogijo, Sagamu, all in Ogun East Senatorial District, valued at N20.2 million.
The counts read in part, “Hon. Onamusi Onadeko, on or about 4th November, 2016, being employed in the public service as a Senior Legislative Aide in the National Assembly and being the Managing Director of Haines and Baines, Ltd., did knowingly directly acquire a private interest in a contract for the construction of a block of three classrooms at Ijebu Imushin Comprehensive High School, Ijebu East, Ogun East Senatorial District, Ogun State to the tune of N11, 863, 444.16 and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 12 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.”
Onamusi did not admit guilt when the counts were read to him. His counsel, Wahab Olatoye pleaded with the court to grant him bail to enable him attend to his health having just returned from England where he had gone to seek medical attention.
However, ICPC counsel, Ephraim Otti, objected to the bail application, citing instances where the accused had earlier jumped administrative bail granted to him by the Commission. He told the court that it took ICPC more than one year to track down the accused.
Justice Oji after listening to the arguments adjourned the matter to 10th December, 2018 for ruling on the bail application but ruled that the accused remain in the custody of his counsel pending the bail ruling