- A Federal High Court in Sokoto has remanded Alhaji Mukhtari Shagari, and some top officials of the PDP in police custody
- The suspects were accused of misappropriating about N500 million
- Their case has been adjourned to Thursday, May 24, by Justice Saleh Idrissa, the presiding judge
A former deputy governor of Sokoto, Alhaji Mukhtari Shagari, and four chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have been remanded by a Federal High Court sitting in the state which was presided over by Justice Saleh Idrissa on Tuesday, May 22, over alleged money laundering
The looted fund amounted to N500 million from former petroleum minister Diezani Alison-Madueke’s alleged loot, This Day reports.
The rest four suspects were Ibrahim Gidado, the former state commissioner for information, the party's state treasurer, Nasiru Dalhatu, its chairman Ibrahim Milgoma and Abdallah Wali, a PDP governorship candidate in the 2015 election.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) prosecuting counsel, Johnson Ojogbane, said the it preferred the five-count charge against the accused persons bordering on money laundering and cash transaction outside regulated financial institution which contravened Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 and punishable under section 16 (2) (b) of the act.
Ojogbane said that the offences were committed in March 2015, and the money was handed over to the accused persons by one Abdulrahman Ibrahim a day before the polls.
He said: “The Money Laundering Prohibition Act frowns on money laundering and financing of illegal activities.
"There is a threshold to transact a cash business and when you cross that threshold, it is an offence and there is punishment for that. This issue has to do with the N500 million Diezani money that was given out for elections.”
Ojogbane further said that the charges came with the affidavits, list of witnesses, summary of evidences as well as proof of evidence.
However, after the reading of the charges, the accused persons pleaded not guilty, denying the allegations.
In reaction to this, Ojogbane opposed their application for bail because the administrative bail ended when they were served with charge sheets.
He pleaded with the court to adhere to due processes and sought for adjournment to commence full trial.
Ibrahim Abdullahi, the counsel to Gidado and Dalhatu and Milgoma, applied for an interim bail for the accused persons pending the moving of formal bail application filed by the defendants.
Abdullahi said that the defendants had been on EFCC administration bail since 2016, emphasising that the accused were not likely to endanger any investigation.
Ibrahim Idris and Aiyelabegan Abdulkadiri, counsel to Shagari and Wali respectively, aligned themselves with Abdullahi’s submission on granting the accused persons bail in continuation of the administrative bail granted earlier.
Justice idrissa, therefore, adjourned the case to Thursday, May 24, for hearing of bail application for the accused persons and ordered that they should be remanded in police custody in Sokoto.
Earlier, NAIJ.com had reported that Shagari, and the PDP chiefs were to be arraigned before a Federal High Court sitting in Sokoto on Tuesday, May 22.
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