N23bn Diezani Bribe: INEC Staff Plead Guilty, Two Others to Face Trial
A staff of the
Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Christian Nwosu has
pleaded guilty to receiving N30million as bribe from the N23billion
alleged Diezani bribe meant to compromise electoral officers before the
2015 general election.
was among three INEC officials that were today docked by the Economic
and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, before Justice M. B. Idris of
the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos on a 7-count charge
bordering on receiving gratification to the tune of N264,880,000.00 (Two
Hundred and Sixty-four Million, Eight Hundred and Eighty Thousand
and the other accused persons-Yisa Olanrewaju Adedoyin and Tijani
Bashir had, on March 27, 2015, allegedly received bribes from a former
Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Allison-Madueke, ahead of
the 2015 general election.
you, Mrs. Diezani Allison – Madueke (still at large), Christian
Nwosu, Yisa Olanrewaju Adedoyin and Tijani Bashir on or about the
27th day of March, 2015 in Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this
Honourable Court conspired among yourselves to directly take possession
of N264,880,000(Two Hundred and Sixty-four Million, Eight Hundred and
Eighty Thousand Naira) which sum you reasonably ought to have known
forms part of the proceeds of an unlawful act to wit: gratification and
you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(a) of the Money
Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2002 and punishable under
Section 15(3) of the same Act.”
reads: “That you, Christian Nwosu on or about the 27 day of March,
2015 in Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court
directly used the sum of N30,000,000 which sum you reasonably ought to
have known forms part of the proceeds of an unlawful act to wit:
gratification and you hereby committed an offence contrary to Section
15(2)(a) of the money laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act 2012 and
punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.”
to the first defendant, Adaku Ngbangba, pleaded with the court to grant
her client bail on self-recognizance, adding that “he is a first-time
offender. He has put in over 20 years in service. Given his honestly, I
urge you, my Lord, to grant him bail on liberal terms.’’
to the second defendant, Ngbangba, as well as counsel to the third
defendant, Nelson Imoh, also pleaded with the court to grant their
clients bail on self-recognizance.
address, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, told the court that
the first defendant had entered a plea bargain agreement with the
$115 million kept in the custody of Fidelity Bank Plc, which was
subsequently converted to N23bn.
amount of money, it was alleged that the first defendant received a cash
payment of N30, 000,000. 00 as Director and Administrative Secretary,
INEC, Kwara State.
Fidelity Bank and signed for N264, 880,000. This was left in the bank
in the custody of the third defendant who carried it in a Hilux bus and
was making cash payment/withdrawals without going through any financial
further told the court that the first defendant was invited to the
Commission’s office, where he made his statement under words of caution.
also told the court that the first defendant had admitted essentially
to the ingredients of the alleged offence in his statement to the
Commission on December 12, 2016.
in his address, also stated that “the first defendant also gave account
of the properties he used the money to acquire.
demonstrated remorse and given useful information to aid the
prosecution of the case, he has entered into an agreement to forfeit the
properties to the Federal Government. The properties are listed in the
paragraphs 1 and 2 of the plea bargain agreement.
also urged the court to convict the first defendant in line with the
count seven of the charges and adopt the term contained in the plea