Court Remands INEC Staff in Prison for N112.4m Scam

Justice O. Efreti Abang of the Federal High Court sitting in Asaba,
Delta State has ordered that Mrs. Fidelia Omoile, a serving Independent
National Electoral Commission’s ( INEC) official in Isoko- South Local
Government Area of Delta State, be remanded in prison custody following
her arraignment on Monday,  on a two- count amended charge, bordering on
conspiracy and money laundering, by the Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission, EFCC.
Omoile was docked for allegedly collecting
the sum of N112, 480,000.00 (One Hundred and Twelve Million, Four
Hundred and Eighty Thousand Naira), as a bribe during the weeks leading
to the 2015 Presidential election. She was among the over 100 INEC
Officials that allegedly collected part of the $115million (N23bn)
disbursed by a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-
Madueke, during the countdown to the 2015 presidential election.

Omoile
was arrested on 11 April, 2016 following intelligence received by the
EFCC on the activities of some INEC Staff, who allegedly connived with
some Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs), in defrauding the Federal
Government huge sums of money, running into millions of Naira.

Count
one of the charge read: “That you Fidelia Omoile on or about the month
of March, 2015 at Asaba within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court
did conspire among yourselves to receive cash payment in the sum of N
112,480,000.00 (One Hundred and Twelve Million, Four Hindered and Eighty
Thousand Naira only)  exceeding the statutory limit without going
through a financial institution and thereby committed an offence
contrary to Section 18 (a)  of the Money laundering (Prohibition) Act
2012 as amended and punishable under Section 15 (3) and (4) of the same
Act”.

Count two of the charge read: “That you Fidelia  Omoile on
or about the month of March, 2015 at Asaba within the jurisdiction of
this Honourable Court did receive cash payment in the sum of
N112,480,000.00 (One Hundred and Twelve Million, Four Hindered and
Eighty Thousand Naira only) exceeding the statutory limit without going
through a financial institution and thereby committed an offence
contrary to Section 1 (a)  of the Money laundering ( Prohibition) Act
2012 as amended and punishable under Section 16 (b) and (4) of the same
Act”.

The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to her.

In
view of her plea, prosecution counsel, Sadiq Hussaini, asked for a
trial date and sued that the defendant be remanded in prison custody. 
However, counsel to the defendant, K. O Obamogie, made an oral
application for bail of his client and urged the court to grant his
prayers. Hussaini opposed his prayers.

In his ruling, Justice
Abang turned down the defendant’s application for bail, directing that
the application be filed formally. He also adjourned the matter to 6
June, 2017 for hearing and ordered the defendant to be remanded in
prison custody pending the determination of her bail.

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