- Two former senior staff of the Enugu office of INEC were arraigned by the EFCC before a Federal High Court
- The former staff were arraigned on a 16-count charge of conspiracy and money laundering to the tune of N131,380,000
- Both men pleaded not guilty to the charges leveled against them
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Enugu Zonal office, on Wednesday, May 16, arraigned two former senior staff of Enugu state office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Bar. Amadi Simon, a former deputy director, and Nathan Owhor Oviri, an administrative secretary.
They were arraigned 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 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 was sequel to roles played in the disbursements of 2015 presidential election campaign funds to some INEC staff in Enugu state on behalf of the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party in the state from Alison Madueke, the erstwhile minister of petroleum under Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.
They were said to have made and accepted cash payments to an individual exceeding the authorised amount and limit required by law without passing it through a financial institution.
Investigation by the commission revealed that the sum of $27 million was released which, when changed through various bureau de change office, amounted to N131,380,000 and was part of the total sum of N450 million released to the state PDP campaign team.
It was also discovered that the fund was collected by Nathan Owhor from some party chieftains and taken to a hotel at New Heaven, Enugu where it was disbursed to all supervising returning officers of INEC in the state for onward disbursement to other staff in all the local government areas of the state.
Both men pleaded not guilty to the charges leveled against them whereupon the prosecution counsel, Fortune Amina Asemebo asked for a date for trial.
The judge thereafter granted the duo bail in the sum of five million naira (N5,000,000) each and one surety each who must not be below the rank of a director in either state or federal ministry in the same amount. He insisted that the sureties must own landed properties within the court’s jurisdiction and that they should be verified by the court bailiff.
Justice Liman further ruled that they enjoy their administrative bail granted by EFCC until the conditions listed above be met within seven days. He stated that failure to meet the conditions, they should be re-arrested and be remanded in prison custody.
The matter has been adjourned to October 10, 2018 for continuation of trial.
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According to an earlier report by NAIJ.com, the EFCC, Gombe state zonal office on Wednesday, March 7, 2018, arraigned three Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials in court over N163.9 million election bribe.
Dr Godwin Kwanga, former Plateau state resident electoral commissioner; Usman Baba Bukar, former INEC administrative secretary in Plateau state and Jonathan Azi Nyako, a retired INEC staff, were arraigned before Justice C. L. Dabup of Plateau state high court.
The trio were arraigned on two count charge bordering on conspiracy and bribery.
The EFCC stage a walk against corruption on NAIJ.com TV.