Home / News / #GistMall:_INEC Official Confesses Diezani Gave Him N30m To Compromise 2015 Election

#GistMall:_INEC Official Confesses Diezani Gave Him N30m To Compromise 2015 Election

Mr. Nwosu pleaded guilty after being arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). He was arraigned alongside Yisa Adedoyin, Tijani Bashir, and Mrs. Alison-Madueke, who was not present for the arraignment.

An Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) official, Christian Nwosu, confessed to Justice Muhammed Idris of the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos that he received a N30 million bribe from former Minister of Petroleum Diezani Alison-Madueke to compromise the 2015 general election.

Mr. Nwosu pleaded guilty after being arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). He was arraigned alongside Yisa Adedoyin, Tijani Bashir, and Mrs. Alison-Madueke, who was not present for the arraignment.

EFCC Prosecuting Counsel Rotimi Oyedepo informed the judge that Mr. Nwosu had elected to enter into a plea bargain with the anti-graft agency.

Mr. Oyedepo added that Mr. Nwosu had already made a refund of N5m while he had also surrendered the title document of a landed property he purchased for N25m in Delta State.

Reviewing the facts of Mr. Nwosu’s case, the prosecutor informed the court that the EFCC acted on an intelligence report disclosing that Mrs. Alison-Madueke had stashed $115m in the bank and instructed the bank to convert the sum into naira. She told the bank that a portion of the converted funds should then be paid to certain INEC officials in the run-up to the 2015 election.

Mr. Oyedepo explained that out of the $115m, N30m was traced to Mr. Nwosu, who stored the cash in a Toyota Hilux vehicle in Ilorin.

He added that Mr. Nwosu was invited by the EFCC to make a confessional statement. Mr. Oyedepo then tendered both the confessional statement and the document with which Mr. Nwosu acknowledged receiving N30m from the former petroleum minister.

Both were admitted in evidence by the court and marked as exhibits.

Mr. Oyedepo then urged the judge to convict Mr. Nwosu as charged in view of his plea and the evidence adduced.

The charges pressed against the defendants bordered on conspiracy, acceptance of gratification and money laundering.

The EFCC, in the first charge, alleged that Mr. Nwosu, Mr. Adedoyin and Mr. Bashir, in connivance with Mrs. Alison-Madueke, 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 a financial institution. Mr. Adedoyin allegedly received N70.05m cash from Mr. Bashir on the same day, while Mr. Bashir received N64.88m and Mr. Nwosu received N30m.

The prosecution said the accused persons acted contrary to Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act of 2012 and were liable to be punished under Sections 15(3) and 16(2)(b) of the same act.

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.”

However, the defendant’s lawyer, Adaku Mbama, pleaded with the judge to temper justice with mercy in deciding the fate of her client.

Justice Idris adjourned till April 7, 2017 to sentence Mr. Nwosu, ordering that he be remanded in EFCC custody in the meantime.

Mr. Nwosu’s co-defendants, who pleaded not guilty, were admitted to a bail of N50m each with two sureties in like sum.

The judge said the sureties must own landed property in Lagos and were to show evidence of three years’ tax clearance.

The defendants were directed to deposit their passports in the custody of the court’s registrar.

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

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