Nigerian oficials charged with corruption

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Nigeria’s anti-graft Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has charged two former ministers, the daughter of former President Olusegun Obasanjo and nine others with corruption, in a determined effort by the administration of President Umaru Yar’Adua to tackle corruption head on.

While the two former Ministers, Adenike Grange and his junior counterpart, Gabriel Aduku, were arraigned in the capital city of Abuja Tuesday, the EFCC declared that Iyabo, who chairs the Senate Committee on Health, is ”on the run”.

Grange and Aduku, who were forced to resign last month over the 300 million naira unspent 2007 budget of the Health Ministry, and nine other officials of the ministry pleaded not guilty to the 54 charges against them, including stealing, abuse of office and criminal breach of trust (117 Naira=US$1).

Justice Salisu Garba of the Abuja High Court ordered that they be remanded in prison custody till Friday, when he will rule on their bail application.

Iyabo was to be arraigned on a two-count charge, after she received 10 million naira of the 300 million naira said to have been shared by top officials of the Health Ministry.

Members of the Senate Committee Health said they did not partake in sharing the money, but were sponsored on an official trip to Ghana from the proceeds. Panapress.

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