An ex- Federal Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour and Productivity, Clement Illoh, has denied stealing N14.1million funds from the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) at an Ikeja Special Offences Court.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had closed its case against the ex-Permanent Secretary on May 16, with four prosecution witnesses testifying.
Opening his defence, Illoh led in evidence by Mr Onwukwe, his defence counsel, claimed the alleged stolen funds were legally sourced from the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
The ex-Permanent Secretary said the sum which was allegedly paid into his personal bank account called Clement and Bob Associates, was for organizing meetings of two departments of NIMASA and Ministry of Labour.
Illoh said that N3.5million, which was the funds leftover from the N14.1million budgeted for the meetings was expended on logistics, honorarium, stationeries and transport.
The defendant was arraigned on October 16, 2017 by the anti-graft agency on a three-count charge bordering on stealing.
Illoh was responsible for supervising numerous programmes including SURE-P and allegedly awarded fictitious contracts to himself via his company and friends.
He however denies the charges.
Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo adjourned the case until October 25 and 26 for continuation of defence.