Court remands Buhari’s nominee in prison for alleged N182m fraud
A Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin has remanded Dr. Saadu Alanamu in prison custody for alleged fraud to the tune of N182m and abuse of bail condition.
Incidentally, Alanamu’s name was forwarded to the Senate by President Muhammadu Buhari last week for confirmation as a commissioner of the National Population Commission.
Recall that there had been reports last year that Alanamu was nominated into the board of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) by the then acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, despite being probed by the same agency.
However, following public outcry, Osinbajo withdrew his nomination after which the ICPC arrested and arraigned him for fraud.
Alanamu, who is a former Chairman of the Governing Council of the Kwara State Polytechnic, was charged alongside the Chief Executive Director of Namylas Nigeria Limited, Salman Sulaiman, for allegedly collecting a bribe from a contractor.
He was initially granted bail by Justice Mahmud Gafar but was remanded in prison on Monday following allegations by the judge that some persons had offered him a bribe to dismiss the case.
The spokesperson for the ICPC, Mrs. Rasheedat Okoduwa, said in a statement that in the course of trial, the defence counsel alleged that Alanamu was “forced, harassed, intimidated and coerced” into making his statement to the ICPC investigators and therefore, the statement should not be admitted in evidence.
Consequently, Justice Gafar ordered a trial-within-trial, which commenced the same day.
This, he said, was for the court to determine whether the statement was made voluntarily or not.
While delivering his ruling on the trial-within-trial, Justice Gafar overruled the objection of the defence and admitted Alanamu’s confessional statement into evidence.
The trial judge also went on to revoke Alanamu’s bail for abuse of bail conditions.
The case was adjourned till Thursday (today) for hearing.
The commission, in the charges accused Alanamu, who was also the Chairman of the Kwara State Polytechnic Tenders Board, of collecting N5m bribe from a contractor, Salman Sulaiman, as a kickback for the award of a contract.
The counsel for the ICPC, Sunny Ezeana, told the court that Alanamu received the bribe through his First Bank account on February 11, 2015 from Namylas Nigeria Limited, a company owned by Sulaiman, who is also his friend.
The court heard that Alanamu ensured that the contract for the construction and furnishing of an auditorium in Kwara State Polytechnic, at the cost of N182,369, 625.00, was awarded to Namylas Nigeria Limited even when it was found that the company was not qualified to execute the contract.
The ICPC said its investigation into the petition had revealed strong evidence of collusion, bid rigging and corrupt practices against Namylas Nigeria Limited in the bid process; and that the company used falsified, forged and doctored PENCOM Compliance Certificate, Tax Clearance Certificate and ITF Certificate of Compliance to submit its bid during the bidding process.