JUST IN: UNICAL Professor Arraigned In Court Over ₦20.6m Fraud

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A University of Calabar, UNICAL professor has been arraigned in court over ₦20.6 million fraud.

UNICAL Professor Arraigned In Court Over ₦20.6m Fraud
Prof. Francisca Ime

Professor Francisca Ime Bassey, a professor at the University of Calabar (UNICAL) has been charged to court by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) over her alleged involvement in a contract fraud of ₦20.6 million, THE PARADISE report.

It that Prof. Bassey who is the Dean and Director of the Pre-Degree Programme of the university was arraigned on Wednesday, August 18, 2021, at the Cross River State High Court 6, Calabar, by the ICPC for allegedly holding private interests in multiple contracts awarded by the school to four companies directly owned by her.

According to a report by Channels TV, the ICPC, in 10 counts filed before Justice Elias O. Abua, noted that the alleged crime happened between 2013 and 2017 and violated Section 12 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.

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The charge sheet revealed that Prof. Bassey at different times benefited from a series of contracts totalling ₦20,679,324.63 awarded to Bakuf Ventures, Rivet Investment Nigeria Ltd, Joebas Enterprises, and Arumo Nigeria Ltd.

It was found that contracts amounting to ₦7,819,916.24 were allegedly awarded to Bakuf Ventures on four occasions between 2013 and 2017.

The institution also awarded contracts worth N4.7 million to Rivet Investment Nigeria Ltd between 2013 and 2015.

The dean further used two of her companies, Joebas Enterprises and Arumo Nigeria Ltd to commit multiple contract frauds.

She allegedly benefitted from N5,736,797.84 worth of contracts awarded to Arumo Nigeria Ltd and N2,450,700 awarded to Joebas Enterprises within the same period.

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The accused entered a not-guilty plea when the charge was read to her, as her counsel, Barrister Joseph Oloku, filed a bail application praying the court to admit her to bail on self-recognisance.

The bail was opposed by counsel to the ICPC, Kioba Kio Anabraba, who prayed the court to grant her bail on terms that would make her attend her trials.

The presiding judge granted her bail in the sum of ₦5 million with one surety in like sum, insisting that the surety must have landed property within the jurisdiction of the court.

The matter was then adjourned to October 11 and 12, 2021 for trial.

According to ResearchGate, Francisca Ime Bassey, who was a former Head of Department of Chemistry has carried out two researches:

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1. Effect of the number of frying cycles on the composition, concentrations and risk of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in vegetable oils and fried fish.

2. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in three commercially available fish species from the Bonny and Cross River estuaries in the Niger Delta, Nigeria.