Nigeria: Former Enugu INEC Director, Secretary charged with money laundering
Enugu, May 17, 2018 (AltAfrika)-The Nigeria Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Wednesday arraigned two former senior staff of Enugu State office of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Amadi Simon, a former deputy director and Nathan Owhor Oviri, an administrative secretary before Justice A.M. Liman of the Federal High Court, Enugu on a 16-count charge of conspiracy and money laundering to the tune of One Hundred and Thirty One Million, Three Hundred and Eighty Thousand Naira (N131, 380,000) contrary to Section 18 (a) and 1 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act,2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 16 (2) (b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2012
Their arraignment, according to the agency spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren was sequel to roles played in the disbursements of 2015 presidential election campaign funds to some INEC Staff in Enugu State from the $115m provided by Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke , former Minister of Petroleum Resources , to influence the outcome of the election.
They were said to have made and accepted cash payments exceeding the authorized limit required by law without passing through a financial institution.
Investigation by the Commission revealed that the sum of $27 Million USD was released and it was converted to N131,380,000 at various Bureau de Change.
The sum, AltAfrika.com learnt formed part of N450 Million released to the Enugu state PDP Campaign team.
The money was allegedly collected by Nathan Owhor from some party chieftains and taken to a hotel at New Haven, Enugu where it was disbursed to all supervising returning officers of INEC for onward disbursement to other staff in all the local government areas of the state.
However, when charges were read to them, both men pleaded not guilty and they were subsequently granted bail in the sum of Five Million Naira (N5,000,000) each with one surety each who must not be below the rank of a director in either state or federal ministry.
The sureties, it was added must also own landed properties within the court’s jurisdiction.
Justice Liman further ruled that the accused person should continue to enjoy the administrative bail granted by EFCC until the conditions listed above are met within seven days.
Failure to meet the conditions, they would be re-arrested and remanded in prison custody, the judge ruled.
The matter has been adjourned to October 10, 2018.
Undergraduate, Micheal Ebade Convicted for Internet Scam
The agency also on Wednesday arraigned and secured the conviction of one Michael Ebade, a student of Delta State University, Abraka before Justice E.A Okorodas of the Delta State High Court, Sapele, on a one count charge bordering on obtaining the sum N505,000 (Five Hundred and Five Thousands Naira) under false pretences from one Mr Ogwuegbu Collins ,when he presented himself as Sonia Monday.
It was alleged that sometimes in 6th June, 2016 the convict under the pretence of being a female by the name, Sonia Monday solicited for financial assistance from the petitioner via Whatsapp, claiming to be an indigent student who needed financial assistance.
Out of pity, the petitioner transferred the sum of five thousand naira (5000) from his company’s account to the account of the convict in the name of Carlus Oluwaseun.
According to the petitioner, the convict further requested for his help for the second time wherein in an attempt to send another sum of N5, 000 he mistakenly sent N500,000. All entreaties to convince Sonia Monday to transfer back the excess fund of N455, 000 fell on deaf ears.
At the hearing of the matter in court, the prosecution counsel, R.E Ajobiewe told the court,” My Lord, the matter is for arraignment. When the charge was read to the convict he pleaded “guilty”.
In view of the plea, and the fact that the convict had restituted his victim to the tune of the total sum stolen, Justice Okorodas sentenced him to one month imprisonment. The sentence is to run concurrently from the date of his arrest.