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Kogi APC Chieftain, Tony Ogah, 4 others arraigned over N140 million IPPIS, ‘ghost workers’ fraud

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Kogi All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, Tony Ogah and four other civil servants were arraigned in Court by the Federal Government on Monday in Abuja.

They were dragged to court along with a former Bank staff on charges of perpetrating a fraud involving over N140 million having alledgedly manipulated the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) to input details of ghost workers sometime in 2017.

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The five defendants, Anthony Ogar, Olarenwaju Ladipo, Samuel Enwerem, Joshua Omachonu and Joy Wright were arraigned on 11 counts of cybercrime and advance fee fraud before Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court in Abuja, but all pleaded not guilty.

Anthony Ogar worked with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development before he joined politics in his home state, Wright, the IPPS Desk Officer in the ministry, while Ladipo and Omachonu, were said to be of the Nigeria Space Research and Development Agency, a(NARSDA) and Enwerem, an ex-banker, when the alleged fraud was said to have been perpetrated in 2017. adsbygoogle || []).push({});

The Prosecutor alleged in the charges filed against the defendants on August 6, 2020, said they intentionally perpetuated the fraud.

“The defendants conspired and did obtain by false pretence from the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System of the Federal Government of Nigeria the sum of N140,000,000 using several fictitious salary accounts of employees of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

“The offences of conspiracy and the actual fraud were said to be contrary to Section 8(a), and 1(c), respectively, of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act CAP A6 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, both of which were said to be punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.

Anthony Ogar, Ladipo and Wright were specifically accused of conspiracy and “unlawfully inputting, migrating and reactivating accounts of fictitious employees of the Federal Government of Nigeria in the said IPPIS with the intention that such fictitious employees will be considered as genuine.”

Before they were granted bail of N10 million each with a surety, by Justice Mohammed, the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The defence lawyers, Mr E.I.B. Odo, for the 1st defendant, J.D. Musa for the 2nd and 5th defendants, Dickson Omahi for the 3rd and D. Akatugba for the 4th defendant, informed the judge that they had filed separate bail applications for their clients.

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