Court orders Diezani’s arrest, convicts 2 INEC staff over N362m bribe - SALIENT TIMES ONLINE

Court orders Diezani’s arrest, convicts 2 INEC staff over N362m bribe

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Justice Nathan Musa of the Adamawa State High Court, Yola, Thursday, ordered the Inspector General of Police, Muhammed Adamu, to liaise with the International Police Organization (INTERPOL) to arrest a former minister of petroleum resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.

The former minister is among three defendants charged before the court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC on a three count charge for allegedly deploying over N362million derived from a $115m slush fund to influence the outcome of the 2015 presidential elections in favour of the candidate of the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

The other defendants are Ibrahim Mohammed, the electoral officer in charge of Yola South Local Government Area of Adamawa State and Sahabo Iya-Hamman, a retired INEC staff and Adamawa State coordinator of West African Network of Election Observers (WANEO), during the 2015 presidential election.

A press statement by the EFCC Spokesperson, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, in Abuja, said: “The accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charges.”

He said Justice Nathan granted bail to the defendants in the sum of N10m each and two sureties in like sum.

According to him, “After more than two years of trial in which the prosecution called several witnesses and tendered documents that were admitted in evidence, the Judge today convicted Ibrahim Mohammed and Sahabo Iya-Hamman, to 7 years in prison on each of the three count charges for receiving a bribe of N362 million from the former Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke. The sentences are to run concurrently.”

He said in convicting the defendants, the Judge held that he was satisfied by the testimonies of the 15 witnesses who appeared before the court and other material evidence tendered by the prosecution.

He observed that though N362 million was received by the officials, they only shared five per cent of the money to other staff of the commission and could not account for the balance.