Nigeria: Court Remands Three INEC Staff in Prison Custody over N177.3m Fraud
The Nigeria Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Lagos office on Wednesday, August 1, 2018, arraigned the trio of Gbadegun Isaiah Abiodun, Oladipo Oladapo and Afolabi Peter Albert, before Justice Chuka Obiozor of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos on a five-count charge bordering on conspiracy and money laundering to the tune of N177, 300,000(One Hundred and Seventy-seven Million, Three Hundred Thousand Naira).
The defendants, who are staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Osun State, were alleged to have conspired amongst themselves to receive a cash payment of a sum of N177, 300,000 from a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Allison-Madueke, on the eve of the 2015 general election, without going through a financial institution.
One of the counts against them reads: “That you, Gbadegun Isaiah Abiodun, Oladipo Oladapo and Afolabi Peter Albert and others at large, on or about the 30th day of March 2015 in Nigeria, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, conspired amongst yourselves to accept a cash payment of the sum of N177,300,000( One Hundred and Seventy- seven Million, Three Hundred Thousand Naira Only), which exceeded the N5,000,000.00( Five Million Naira) Limit, without going through a financial institution, contrary to Section 18 and punishable under Section 16(2) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 (as amended by the Act NO.1 2012 ).”
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against them.
In view of their pleas, the prosecution counsel, Iheanacho Ekele, asked the court for a trial date and prayed that the defendants be remanded in prison custody.
Counsel to the defendants, Dapo Esan, informed the court of application for bail, which was filed today, and prayed the court for a short adjournment to argue the application.
He also urged the court to remand the defendants in EFCC custody on the grounds of ill health.
Consequently, Justice Obiozor adjourned the case to August 7, 2018 for hearing of the bail application and ordered the defendants to be remanded in Ikoyi prison.