An Federal Capital Territory High Court in Apo has discharged and acquitted a former Inspector-General of Police, Sunday Ehindero, who was charged with alleged diversion of N16.4million.
The presiding trial judge, Justice Silvanus Oriji, also discharged Ehindero’s co-defendant, a former Commissioner of Police in charge of Budget at the Force Headquarters, John Obaniyi, of the 10-count charge filed against them by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC).
The ICPC had alleged that the defendants conspired and used their positions to pay N500 million in two fixed deposit accounts with Wema Bank and Intercontinental Bank from the N557.9m donated by the Bayelsa Government to the Nigeria Police for purchase of arms and ammunition.
The anti-corruption commission further alleged that the N500 million placed in fixed deposits yielded an interest of N16.4million which was allegedly diverted by the defendants. They however pleaded not guilty.
Following the closing of the case of the prosecution on May 8 after calling four witnesses, the defendants filed a no-case submission, urging the court to discharge them. Ruling on the submission on Tuesday, Justice Oriji held that the prosecution failed to establish a prima facie case against the defendants which would have warranted the court to call on them (defendants) to open their defence.
He held that the prosecution had failed to prove that the defendants converted the said interest generated to their personal use.
The judge further held that the investigation officer did not discredit the claim of the defendants to prove that the money was not used for operational purposes. “I, therefore, uphold the no-case submission. The defendants are hereby discharged,” he held.