The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has arraigned the Chairman of Gwagwalada Area Council, Adamu Danze, for allegedly receiving N10 million kickback from a contractor handling construction projects in the area council.
Danze was arraigned by the Commission before Justice U. P. Kekemeke of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court 4 on allegations of corruption bordering on abuse of office and gratification.
ICPC had filed six counts before the court in which it accused the council chairman of demanding and receiving N10 million bribe from the Director of Remotosh Construction Limited, Aremu Omotosho, in exchange for approving payment for the construction of a double-cell culvert in Paiko-Kore.
The local council boss was alleged to have committed the offence in March 2018 when he directed the contractor to transfer the money to his lawyer handling his election tribunal case, thereby violating Sections 8 (1)(a), 10 (a)(i), 18 (b) and 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.
One of the charges read, “That you, Adamu Mustapha Danze on or about the month of March 2018 at Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, while being a public officer as the Executive Chairman of Gwagwalada Area Council received the sum of N10 million from Engineer Aremu Omotosho, the director of Remotosh Construction Limited for approving payment for the construction of double cell culvert at Paiko-Kore awarded to Remotosh Construction Limited by Gwagwalada Area Council, the sum you asked the contractor to transfer to your counsel defending you in the election tribunal and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 10 (a)(i) and punishable under Section 10 (a)(ii) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.”
Danze, who had a bench warrant issued on him, pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to him while the warrant was subsequently dismissed by the trial judge after a plea by the defence Counsel, Abdul Mohammed.
Mohammed, in his remarks, apologised to the judge for failing to attend proceedings on two previous dates fixed by the court, saying it was due to the recent kidnapping activities in Gwagwalada.
He also informed the court that the defendant was coordinating rescue operations in the area council, and moved a motion praying that the accused be admitted to bail at the discretion of the court pending trial.
Counsel to ICPC, Michael Adesola, in his counter-argument, averred that the accused was very deliberate in his actions of ignoring court sittings as he was duly served all proceedings since last year.
Adesola, who also opposed the bail application, prayed the court to remand the accused in a correctional facility to prevent him from interfering and intimidating witnesses, some of whom were employees in the area council.
Justice Kekemeke, having listened to both counsels, held that the defendant cannot jump bail based on his current position.
“The defendant who is the current Chairman of Gwagwalada Area Council cannot evade his trial,” he held. “He has nowhere to hide as I give him the benefit of doubt. The application therefore subsists. Bail is therefore granted to the defendant.”
Danze was admitted to bail in the sum of N20 million and a surety in like sum while the case was adjourned until March 1, 2022, for trial.