By Kenneth Atavti
Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has arraigned a Deputy Chief Registrar of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt, Mrs. Nkem Apollonia Mba, for alleged involvement in fraudulent activities.
Mrs. Mba was docked on a three-count charge before Justice Leteem Nyordee, of the Federal High Court Port Harcourt, for offences bordering on abuse of office and corrupt demand of gratification by a public officer.
One of the counts revealed that the Deputy Chief Registrar received a kickback of N500,000 through her bank account from the purchase of Automotive Gas Oil popularly known as diesel and other products. She however argued that the money was her two percent entitlement according to Order 16 of the Admiralty Jurisdiction (Procedure Rule) 2011.
The court heard that her offence contravened Section 10 and 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000, and is punishable under relevant sections of the same Act.
The accused pleaded “Not Guilty” when the charge was read to her. Consequently, her counsel, S. Somiari applied for bail praying the court to grant her bail on liberal terms.
The bail application was not opposed by the prosecuting counsel, Dr. Agada Akogwu. The trial judge in granting the prayers, admitted her to bail in the sum of N500, 000 with a surety who must have landed property in Port Harcourt.
Justice Nyordee further ruled that the accused must deposit her international passport with the court Registrar. The case was then adjourned to 26th July, 2022 for commencement of trial.