A Federal High Court on Monday ordered the Acting Executive Director of the National Cereals Research Institute, Badeggi, Niger State, Dr. Samuel Agboire, to be remanded in prison for allegedly recruiting 34 workers illegally without reference to the Federal Character Commission Act, 2004.
Justice Yellim Sulaiman Bogoro of the Federal High Court sitting in Minna gave the order on Thursday.
Agboire was arraigned before the court on a three count charge by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offenses Commission.
He was said to have refused to comply with the FCC establishment act and extant circulars by employing 34 persons as staff of the NCRI and failed to furnish any information to the FCC as required in line with the said employment and therefore committed an offence contrary to section 14 sub section 3(a) and punishable under section 15 sub section 1 of the FCC act.
He was also alleged to have failed to comply with the directive issued by the FCC in a circular dated September 1, 2014, reference FCC/CAM/S.18/1c, on procedure for recruitment into the Federal Public Service in connection with his employment of 34 persons as staff of the NCRI and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 14 sub section 3b and punishable under section 15 of sub section 1 of the FCC act cap F7 laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Agboire was also charged with abusing his office as acting Executive Director by employing 34 staff contrary to the FCC Act, 2004, thereby committing an offence contrary to section 14 sub section 5.
When the case came up, the embattled NCRI boss pleaded not guilty to the three count charge.
The Counsel to the accused, Alhaji Mahmud Magaji (SAN), pleaded with the court to grant his client bail pending the hearing of the substantive suit.
Magaji said: “As a public figure, he will not jump bail and will make himself available when and as at when due.”
The ICPC counsel, Enosa Omoghubo, an Assistant Superintendent Legal Officer in the office of the Chairman of the ICPC, objected to the bail application, saying the accused person would tamper with witnesses.
“In fact, my lord, the accused person has been harassing witnesses. If granted bail, he will continue to do so,” Omoghubo said.