EFCC Arraigns 3 INEC Officials Linked To Alison-Madueke’s $155m Bribery Scam


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday arraigned three officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), who allegedly received bribe from former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, to compromise the outcome of 2015 General election.
The three officials: Christian Nwosu; Yisa Olanrewaju Adedoyin, and Tijani Inda Bashir were arraigned by the commission before Justice Mohammed Idris on a seven count charge of conspiracy, gratification, money laundering, and making cash payment exceeding the amount authorized by law without going through financial institutions.
The anti-graft agency claimed in the charge that the three INEC Officials alongside Mrs. Alison-Madueke on March 27, 2015, conspired among themselves to directly take possession of total sum of N500, 760 million, which formed parts of proceeds of unlawful act.
The third accused person, Tijani Inda Bashir was said to have took possession of the sum of N164, 880 million, which form parts of the proceeds of unlawful act, as gratification.
While the two other accused persons, Yisa Olanrewaju and Christian Nwosu were alleged to have received the sum of N70, 050 million and N30 million respectively from Tijani Inda Bashir, without going through financial institutions.
The offences according to the EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, are contrary to sections 18(a), 15(2)(d), 1(a) 16(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012, and punishable under sections 15(3) 16(2)(b) of the same Act.
The three accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charge.
However after their plea were taken, Oyedepo, informed the court that despite the not guilty plea of all the accused persons, one of them, Christian Nwosu, had applied to the commission to enter into a plea bargain arrangement.
According to Oyedepo, as a result of the plea bargaining agreement dated April 4, 2017, the anti-graft agency had been able to recovered the sum of N30 million both in cash and material.
While reviewing the facts of the case, the lawyer also informed Justice Idris that the EFCC received an intelligent report that the former Minister received the total sum of $115 million USD, which was kept with her bank, and that the said $115 million USD, was later successful converted to Naira.
He further claimed that the bank acting on the oral instruction of Mrs. Alison-Madueke, used parts of the money to gratified officers of Independence National Electoral Commission (INEC), in the conduct of 2015 General Elections.
Oyedepo claimed that it was from the money that the first accused person (Nwosu) received cash payment of N30 million.
The lawyer also maintained that the third accused person, who is an INEC director/Administrative Secretary, signed and received the sum of N262,880 million, from Ilorin, Kwara state branch of the bank, and that the fund was left in custody of the second accused person (Yisa Inda Bashir).
He alleged that Bashir kept the money in a Hi-lux van from where he paid it out in cash without going through a financial institutions.
Oyedepo also alleged that Bashir paid the sum of N30 million to Nwosu.
The EFCC counsel stated that upon conclusion of the Investigation, Nwosu was invited and his statements were taken with caution, and that the receipt of the N30 million was recovered from him.
Justice Idris admitted both the statements and the receipt as exhibits A-A6 in evidence.
Oyedepo further disclosed that the sum of N5 million have been recovered from the accused person’s account, as well as, a landed properties, an undeveloped land and a developed property, lying at Owotomi, in Delta state, which the he had agreed to forfeit to the Federal government.
The lawyer also claimed that the recovered N5 million has been kept in the commission’s account domiciled with Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Upon the conclusion of the review of fact of the case, the prosecutor urged the court to convict the accused person as charge.
However, counsel to the defendant, Mrs. Adaku Mbama, pleaded with the court to be lenient while sentencing her client, whom she stressed had demonstrated a sense of honesty and regret by returned all that he benefited from the crime to the Federal government.
Justice Idris after listening to the submissions held “in line with the plea of the accused person coupled with the fact and exhibit tendered by the prosecutor, the defendant is hereby convicted as charge.”
Justice Idris however reserved the sentence of the accused person till Friday.
On the other accused persons, the judge granted them bail in the sum of N50 million with two sureties in like sum each.
According to the judge, the sureties must be landed property owners within the jurisdiction of the court, they must also show evidence of three years tax payment, while the two accused persons are to submit their international passport to the court’s Deputy Chief Registrar (DCR).
Their trial is to commence on Friday, April 7.
Source: News


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