INEC Officials Docked For Receiving Bribes From Alison-Madueke

Nigeria's former oil minister Diezani Alison-Madueke has been charged for money laundering by the West African nation's Federal High Court in Lagos.

The INEC Director has given useful information to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The EFCC has arraigned three officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for allegedly receiving bribes to manipulate the outcome of the 2015 general elections.

Two other electoral officials charged by Judge Mohammed Idris - namely, Yisa Olarenwaji and Tijani Bashir - have had to give up their passports.

The former petroleum minister, who served under former President Goodluck Jonathan, was not in court to enter a plea.

According to EFCC, 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.

On the second and third defendants that pleaded not guilty to the charge, the judge admitted them to bail in the sum of N50 million with two sureties each.

In February, a Federal High Court in Nigeria's commercial capital, Lagos, issued an order allowing the country's anti-graft body to confiscate over $150m belonging to her.

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.

"We received the sum of $115 million kept in the custody of Fidelity Bank Plc, which was subsequently converted to N23 billion".

Oyedepo claimed that it was from the money that the first accused person (Nwosu) received cash payment of N30 million.

The accused were also said to have made cash payments of the sum of about N235 million, which sum exceeded the amount authorized by law, without going through a financial Institution. "The properties are listed in the paragraphs 1 and 2 of the plea bargain agreement", he said.

Consequently, Justice Idris held, that "In line with the plea of the defendant coupled with the facts and the exhibits tendered by the prosecutor, the defendant is hereby convicted as charged".

He, however, deferred the sentencing of the first defendant to May 7, 2017.

Justice Idris then ordered that they should be remanded in the prison custody pending their fulfillment of the bail conditions.

  • Leroy Wright