27 November 2012

Nigeria: Hembe, Azubuogu Re-Arraigned Over SEC Bribe Allegation

Former Chairman House Committee on Capital Markets and Institutions, Rep. Herman Hembe and his deputy, Rep Chris Azubuogu were yesterday re-arraigned in an Abuja High Court over alleged corruption.

The re-arraignment followed a petition by the EFCC seeking a transfer of the case which was filed on May 10 against the legislatures. The anti-graft agency had alleged bias against the former judge presiding over the trial, Justice Sadiq Umar.

In the two-count charge before the court Hembe and Azubuogu are alleged to have converted to their own use the sum of $4095, about six hundred thousand naira given to them by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as travelling allowance to a conference in Dominican Republic in October, 2011. The two lawmakers, who were in the dock, denied the allegations. This prompted their counsels Jibrin Okutepa (SAN) and Emeka Etiaba Esq to apply for retention of their bail granted by Justice Umar.

Justice Peter Kekemeke adjourned the case to January 23 and 24 for trial.

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