University of Calabar dean arraigned over N20.6m fraud

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), arraigned a University of Calabar dean, Prof. Francisca Ime Bassey over her alleged involvement in a contract fraud of N20.6 million.

Prof. Bassey, who is the Dean and Director of the Pre-Degree Programme of the university allegedly hold private interests in multiple contracts awarded by the school to four companies directly owned by her.

According to ICPC in the 10 counts filed before Justice Elias O. Abua on Wednesday August 18, the alleged crime happened between 2013 and 2017 and violated Section 12 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.

Prof. Bassey at different times, was alleged to have benefited from a series of contracts totalling N20,679,324.63 awarded to Bakuf Ventures, Rivet Investment Nigeria Ltd, Joebas Enterprises, and Arumo Nigeria Ltd amounting to N7,819,916.24 were allegedly awarded to Bakuf Ventures on four occasions between 2013 and 2017.

The institution also awarded contracts worth N4.7 million to Rivet Investment Nigeria Ltd between 2013 and 2015 and she further used two of her companies, Joebas Enterprises and Arumo Nigeria Ltd to commit multiple contract frauds.

Prof. Bassey who is also being accused of benefitted from N5,736,797.84 worth of contracts awarded to Arumo Nigeria Ltd and N2,450,700 awarded to Joebas Enterprises within the same period, entered a not-guilty plea when the charge was read to her.

Her counsel, Barrister Joseph Oloku filed a bail application praying the court to admit her to bail on self-recognizance which was opposed by counsel to the ICPC, Kioba Kio Anabraba, who stated that the bail should be granted if only it will make her attend her trials.

Justice Elias O. Abua subsequently granted her a bail in the sum of N5 million with one surety in like sum who must have landed property within the jurisdiction of the court then adjourned to October 11 and 12, 2021 for trial.

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