A High Court in Benin has cancelled out the case of alleged misappropriation of N113million belonging to the Edo State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), brought before it by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), against a former Secretary to the State Government, Dr Simon Imuekheme, and three others.
Other officials of SUBEB who were given clean bill of health by the court include a former Chairman of the SUBEB in the state, Sir Joseph Emoabino; David Eson Igbinoba and Aghator Gaskin Efe.
The ICPC had, in March 2014 dragged the officials before the High Court accusing them of misappropriating N113million belonging to SUBEB.
However, Justice Esther Edigin, who delivered the judgment, noted that the prosecutor failed in his case when it charged the four accused persons under Section 22, 5 of the ICPC Act 2000 which is no longer in existence, adding that the law in operation is the 2003 ICPC Act authenticated by the National Assembly in 2007 and not the ICPC Act of 2000.
While dismissing the eight-count charge against the four accused, Edigin cited several Supreme Court rulings which puncture the argument of the prosecution, asserting. “From the pronouncements by the Supreme Court, I am convinced without any outa of doubt that corrupt practices and other related acts 2003 is in enforce of law”.
Counsel to Imuekheme, O.A.Omonuwa (SAN), described the judgment as “an extraordinary exhibition of a mastery of law”.