Prof. Alex Akpa, a former acting Director-General of the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) has been arraigned before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.
Akpa was arraigned on Wednesday by Nigeria’s anti-corruption agency, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
Prof. Akpan, Famous Daunemigha, ex-member, Governing Board of NABDA and Wesley Ebi Siasia, ex-Director, Finance and Accounts of the agency, were arraigned on four counts before Justice Inyang Ekwo of a Federal High Court, Abuja.
The three of them who are 1st to 3rd defendants respectively, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Counsel for the anti-corruption commission, O. G. Iwuagwu, informed that seven witnesses had been lined up to testify against the defendants, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.
Justice Ekwo consequently admitted them to bail on terms of the administrative bail earlier granted them by the commission.
Ekwo directed that all the particulars of the defendants be forwarded to the court registrar within seven days of the order.
The judge, who warned the defendants against breaching the bail conditions, said the trial would be on a day-to-day basis.
He adjourned the matter until March 6, March 7, March 8, March 9 and March 10 for trial.
The ICPC had alleged that the defendants, sometime in August 2020, within the court jurisdiction while being public officers, indirectly took possession of the sum of N400 million meant for the establishment of four bioresources development centres in four states.
The commission accused Akpa in count two of indirectly taking possession of the sum of N260 million being part of the sum of N400 million.
The ICPC accused Daunemigha of embezzling N50 million from the N400 million and accused Siasia of taking possession of N40 million from the amount.
The commission said the act contravenes Section 18 (2) (d) and is punishable under Section 18 (3) of the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022