TheCapital

 Breaking News

Alleged Diezani bribe: EFCC re-arrests INEC officials

Alleged Diezani bribe: EFCC re-arrests INEC officials
February 08
12:48 2018

Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Wednesday picked up two ex-officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission who are being tried for alleged bribery.

The officials, Nwosu Christian, and Tijani Bashiru, were picked up on the premises of the Federal High Court in Lagos where they are being prosecuted before Justice Mohammed Idris.

Their re-arrest by the EFCC on Wednesday came shortly after their trial was adjourned by the judge.

They had barely stepped out of the court when they were picked up by waiting EFCC operatives and whisked away immediately.

In the charge against them, they were accused of taking a bribe of N264m from a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs, Diezani Alison-Madueke to compromise the 2015 general elections.

The EFCC said they ought to have known that the funds were proceeds of fraud.

It said they acted contrary to Sections 15 (3), 16 (2) and 18 (a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Amendment Act, 2015.

Nwosu  had earlier pleaded guilty to the charges and opted for a plea bargain, after which the EFCC told the court that it had already recovered N5m cash and a landed property worth N25m from him.

But Nwosu later abandoned the plea bargain after Justice Idris rejected the N500,000 fine proposed for him as punishment by the EFCC.

Justice Idris had held that by virtue of Section 16(2)(b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, under which Nwosu was charged, he was supposed to pay a fine of N10m or go to jail for two years.

The judge held, “I have read carefully the plea bargain agreement and I have reviewed the content of same. By Section 270 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, a plea bargain agreement is allowed as in this case, wherein the first defendant has provided relevant information to aid the prosecution of this case…it appears to me that by the above provisions of the ACJA, under a plea bargain agreement, the appropriate sentence to be recommended should be within the appropriate range of punishment stipulated for the offence charged.

“The first defendant was found guilty of an offence contrary to sections 1(a) and 16(b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Amended Act, 2012 and punishable under Section 16(2)(b) of the same Act.

“Section 16(2)(b) of the Act provides as follows: A person who commits an offence under subsection 1 paragraph A is liable, on conviction, to imprisonment or a prison term not less than two years or a fine of not less than N10m…The provisions of Section 16(2)(b) is clear and unambiguous…It is for the above reason that I find the proposal in paragraph of the plea bargain agreement, filed on 5th April, 2017, inadequate.”

Related Articles

0 Comments

No Comments Yet!

There are no comments at the moment, do you want to add one?

Write a comment

Write a Comment