The trial of former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole, in connection with 894million naira criminal charges filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is set to resume on May 28, 2013.
Bankole is answering to a 16-count criminal charge alleging that he rigged bid for the purchase of 3 units of Mercedes Benz S-600 cars, 2 units of Range Rover vehicles (without bullet proofs) and 400 units of DSTV systems, by refusing to follow all the procedures prescribed for public procurements in Sections 17 to 56 of the Public Procurement Act No.14 of 2007, leading to a loss of value to the national treasury and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 58(4)(e) of the Public Procurement Act, No.14 of 2007 and punishable under Section 58(5) of the same Act.
The anti-graft agency told the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court that the channels through which illicit deals and monies were routed during Bankole’s tenure as Speaker of the 6th Session of the House of Reps, included the purchase of 400 units of 40-inch Samsung (LNS. 341) television sets, 800 units of Desktop Computers (HP Compaq dc 5700), 100 units of Sharp Digital Copier 5316, 400 units of HP LaserJet 2600N, among others.
The commission which had almost made a close of the case from four testimonies of witnesses against the former Speaker was however taken a step back owing to the transfer of the former trial Judge, Justice Donatus Okorowo out of the Abuja Division. This resulted in the case being heard de-no no (afresh).
At the resumed hearing on the case on Thursday, a star witness of the EFCC, Mr Adeboye Adeniyi, narrated before the court how an investigative team of the commission found the ex-Speaker culpable of the charges leveled against him.