EFCC arraigns INEC officials over Diezani’s bribe
The Economic and Financial Crimes on Wednesday arraigned three officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission for allegedly taking bribes to compromise the 2015 general elections.
The accused persons, Christian Nwosu, Yisa Adedoyin and Tijani Bashir, were said to have on March 27, 2015 taken bribes from a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke.
They were on Wednesday arraigned on seven counts before the Federal High Court in Lagos.
Charged along with them was Diezani, who was said to be at large.
The charges pressed against the defendants by the EFCC border on conspiracy, acceptance of gratification and money laundering.
The EFCC, in the first charge, alleged that Nwosu, Adedoyin and Bashir, in connivance with Diezani, took possession of N264.88m, which the anti-graft agency said they “ought to have reasonably known formed part of proceeds of an unlawful act, to wit: gratification.”
The defendants were said to have on March 27, 2015 made a cash payment of N234.88m without going through any financial institution.
Adedoyin was said to have received N70.05m cash from Bashir on March 27, 2015.
Bashir was said to have on the same day taken possession of 64.88m while Nwosu was said to have received and used N30m.
The prosecution said the accused persons acted contrary to Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act 2012 and were liable to be punished under sections 15(3) and 16(2)(b) of the same Act.
When the charges were read to defendants before Justice Mohammed Idris, the first defendant, Nwosu, admitted receiving a cash of N30m as alleged by the EFCC.
The prosecuting counsel for the EFCC, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, informed the judge that Nwosu had elected to enter into plea bargain with the anti-graft agency.