The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Thursday arraigned one Ope Saraki, cousin to the former Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, before a Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin for alleged contract scam.
The Ilorin Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission arraigned Ope on a two-count charge bordering on employment scam, put at over N200 million.
The anti-graft agency alleged that the defendant, while serving as Special Adviser to the Kwara State Government, knowingly acquired a contract.
Count one of the charge reads: “That you, Ope Saraki, sometime in 2012 whilst being the special adviser to the Governor of Kwara State on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) knowingly acquired indirectly a private interest.
“Contract worth N171,990,000 awarded to Chemistry Nigeria Limited, for the purchase of 13 units of Ambulances for 13 general/specialist hospitals in Kwara State.
“A contract connected to your office, contrary to Section 12 of the Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Act, 2000, and punishable under same law.”
Ope however pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The Prosecuting Counsel, Sesan Ola, prayed the court for a trial date in view of the plea of the defendant.
“We also asked that the accused be remanded in the custody of the Nigeria Correctional Service pending the hearing and determination of the case,” Ola prayed the court.
The Defence Counsel, Dr. Joshua Olatoke, however, urged the court to grant bail to his client, pending the hearing and determination of the case.
Olatoke said the defendant would not jump bail as his international passport had been in the custody of the EFCC.
In her ruling, Justice Adenike Akinpelu granted bail to the defendant in the sum of N300 million and two sureties with verifiable addresses.
Akinpelu said Saraki should remain in the custody of the EFCC till he perfects his bail conditions, and adjourned the case till April 16 for hearing.