The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), has arraigned one Michael Okpo and Dasel Nanjwan before the High Court in Calabar, Cross River State for alleged fraud of ₦575m.
The duo who are staff of the Calabar Free Trade Zone (CFTZ), a subsidiary of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA),were brought before Justice Michael Edem, on a 10-count charge for “knowingly holding private interest in contracts connected with the CFTZ.”
In a charge number: HC/11C/2016, counsel to ICPC, Enosa Omoghibo Esq., averred that the action of the accused persons contravenes Section 12 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000, and is punishable under the same section.
Investigations by ICPC revealed that contracts to the tune of ₦575,164,245.24 (Five Hundred and Seventy Five Million, One Hundred and Sixty Four Thousand, Two Hundred and Forty Five Naira, Twenty Four Kobo) were awarded by NEPZA on behalf of General Electric (GE) of the United States of America to two companies: Joliz Engineering Services Ltd and Kwop-Ri Services Ltd, for the replacement of warehouse and factories at the CFTZ.
Further investigations also revealed that Michael Okpo, who is the Senior Manager, Engineering Services NEPZA, in the CFTZ, and his colleague Dasel Nanjwan, are the owners of the above-mentioned companies having themselves and their spouses as directors.
Having taken their plea separately, the duo pleaded not guilty to all the charges preferred against them. The case has been adjourned for further hearing.