The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had arraigned Ikang on eight counts bordering on issuance of dud cheques and forgery. The charges read in part, “That you, Dr Bassey Etim Ikang, sometime in 2017 at Abuja, within the judicial division of this honourable court, did issue a United Bank for Africa Plc’s cheque dated July 10, 2017, to Mr Okenna Oguneche, managing director of Fortress Project Limited in the sum of N60m as payment for a debt, which upon presentation for payment was returned due to insufficient funds standing to the credit of the account upon which the cheque was drawn, thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 1(1)(a) of the Dishonoured Cheques (Offences) Act Cap D11, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, and punishable under Section 1 (1) (b) (i) of the same Act.” The deputy director was also said to have forged a document captioned, ‘The Presidency, Office of the Head of Service of the Federation, Abuja; Federal Integrated Staff Housing Programme, letter of contract award for topographical survey’, in May 2017. A statement on Thursday by the acting EFCC spokesman, Tony Orilade, said the accused pleaded not guilty to the charges. Counsel for the EFCC, Aisha Ibrahim, thereafter, prayed the court to give a date for the commencement of trial and also requested the court to remand the defendant in prison pending the continuation of hearing. But the defence counsel, Imhanbe Osagie, argued that the defendant would be sitting for his promotional interview scheduled for April 12 and 15, 2019, stressing that Ikang was not a flight risk. “It will be fair to give him the opportunity to take the oral promotional interview,” he added. Justice Adebiyi, however, granted the request of the prosecution, and adjourned the matter till April 17, 2019 for hearing of the bail application. He ordered the remand of the defendant in prison.]]>

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