Ope Saraki, a former Special Adviser to the Kwara State Governor on Millennium Development Goals, and cousin to Senate President Bukola Saraki was on Tuesday arraigned for an alleged N371m scam.
The EFCC in a statement by its spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, said a former Commissioner for Information, Olatunji Moronfoye, was jointly arraigned with Saraki before Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo of a Federal High Court sitting in Ilorin for offences bordering on abuse of office, diversion of public funds and money laundering.
While Moronfoye served as commissioner under Saraki when he was the governor of Kwara State, Ope served under the current Governor of Kwara State, Abdulfatah Ahmed.
Moronfoye and Saraki, who were first arraigned on May 13, 2015, had to re-enter their plea on Tuesday following the transfer of the former trial judge, Justice A. O. Faji.
One of the charges read in part, “That you, Ope Saraki, being the Special Adviser on Millennium Development Goals to Governor of Kwara State sometime in 2012 at Ilorin within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did by undue interest conducted procurement fraud in the procurement of 13 units of ambulance for 13 General Specialists Hospitals in Kwara State at the sum of N171,990, 000, a contract awarded to Chemiroy Nigeria Limited and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 58 (4) (b) of the Public Procurement Act, 2007 and punishable under Section 58 (5) 0f the same Act.”
Moronfoye and Saraki pleaded not guilty to the three and five counts preferred against them respectively.
In view of their pleas, counsel for the EFCC, Joseph Uzor, urged the court for a date to commence trial.