The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday filed charges at an Ikeja, Lagos State High Court against a serving senator, Albert Bassey, for allegedly receiving 12 cars as bribes, with the worth put at N254 million.
The senator, 45, who is representing Akwa Ibom North-East, received the vehicles between 2010 and 2014 from Olajide Omokore, a businessman, when he served as the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Finance.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the EFCC has slammed a 14-count charge bordering on corruption on the duo.
Bassey is to face a seven-count charge of bordering on corruption as a public officer and for inviting bribes as a result of his own action.
On his part, Omokore is also facing a seven-count charge bordering on offering gratification to a public officer and giving bribe on account of the action of a public officer.
The duo as well as their counsel were, however, absent in court on Monday when the case was announced for mention at 4.05pm on Monday, according to NAN.
Zainab Ettu, the prosecuting counsel for the EFCC, requested a new court date to enable the anti-graft commission arraign the senator and the businessman.
Ettu said: “We do not have the defendants in court today, though we had earlier anticipated that we would have them in court at a later date.
“We will be asking for a further date, most preferably after vacation.”
Responding, the vacation judge, Justice Obafemi Adamson, noted that the case had not been assigned to a judge, making it difficult to adjourn the case after vacation.
The judge ordered that the case file should be sent to the Registry of the High Court for assignment to a judge, who will hear it.
According to the charge sheet, Bassey received the vehicles from Omokore over a five-year period (2010-2014) in Lagos.
Bassey received the bribes while serving as the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Finance and Chairman of the Akwa Ibom State Inter-Ministerial Direct Labour Coordinating Committee.
On May 10, 2010, Bassey also allegedly corruptly received a BMW X5 BP worth N50 million from Omokore in December 2012 and another Infinity QX 56 BP worth N45 million from him.
In November 2013, the serving senator received a Toyota Landcruiser V8 BP valued at N40 million and in March 2014, he received a Range Rover, also valued at N40 million, from the businessman as well as in September 2014, another Toyota Hiace High Roof car valued at N27 million.
Others are Toyota Hiace High Roof car valued at N16 million and six units of Toyota Hilux vehicles valued at N36 million.
The anti-graft commission claimed that the car gifts were given to Bassey by Omokore in exchange for contracts from the Akwa Ibom State Government.
The offences, according to the EFCC, contravene Sections 63 (1)(a), 64 (1)(a) and 98(1), (a), (i) of the Criminal Law of Lagos 2011.