He and the Vice Chair of the House Committee on Capital Market will stand trial for misappropriation of public funds

Herman Hembe

Justice Abubakar Umar of an Abuja High Court, on Thursday, granted the EFCC leave to arraign Herman Hembe and Chris Azubogu, the former Chairman and Vice Chaiman of the House of Representatives Committee on Capital Market and Other Financial Institutions.

The EFCC had, through its Counsel, Onjekwu Obe, filed an application for leave to prefer a two-count criminal charge against the duo, under section 185 (d) of the Criminal Procedure Code.

“I hereby apply for leave to prefer a criminal charge against the above named accused persons,” Obe’s application read.

“Attached herewith are the following documents: a copy of the charge in respect of which leave is sought, and a verifying affidavit.

“Others are names and addresses of the witnesses, statements of the witnesses and that of the two accused persons and other documentary evidences.”

Umar granted the application and said that based on the proof of evidence presented by the EFCC, Hembe and Azubogu are to be arraigned on Thursday, May 17.

“The application to prefer a criminal charge against Hon. Herman Hembe and Hon. Chris Azubogu has merit,” he added.

Speaking to journalists, the EFCC counsel said Hembe and Azubogu would now be arraigned on May 17 on a two-count charge bordering on misappropriation of public funds.

According to Obe, the EFCC investigations revealed that Hembe and Azubogu were the two key actors in the N44 million fraud allegation rocking the House of Representatives Committee on Capital Market and Other Institutions.

He added that investigations also revealed that the two had confessed that they did not attend a workshop in the Dominican Republic, for which they collected money from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

According to Obe, the confession came on the day the EFCC launched a probe into the N30 million hotel bill allegedly incurred by SEC’s Director-General, Arunma Oteh.

“EFCC has enough evidence to present to court and is ready to begin its case,” Obe said.

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