EFCC re-arrests 2 ex-INEC staff for N731.4m fraud

Posted by News Express | 8 February 2018 | 1,525 times

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 The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Lagos Zonal office, on Tuesday re-arrested two former officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Christian Nwosu and Tijani Bashir Inda, for an alleged offence bordering on diversion of funds and money laundering to the tune of N731, 438,926.35.

Nwosu, a former Administrative Secretary, INEC, Kwara State, and Inda, a former Assistant Director, INEC, Kwara State, were arrested outside the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos.

The suspects were alleged to have conspired to divert the money from the INEC account to their personal use.

They allegedly moved the funds into the account of one Abdulganiyu Adebayo, a cashier with INEC, Kwara State.

The first suspect, Nwosu, allegedly gave approval for the transfer of the money, which was earmarked for the INEC operations in the state, into an account belonging to Adebayo.

It was further alleged that the second defendant, Inda, filled the forms used to transfer the funds from Adebayo’s account into some companies they both have interest in.

They will soon be charged to court as soon as investigation is concluded.

Meanwhile, the EFCC, today, also closed its case against Nwosu and Inda before Justice Muhammed Idris of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos.

Nwosu alongside Inda and Yisa Olanrewaju Adedoyin had first been arraigned on April 5, 2017 by the EFCC on a seven-count charge bordering on receiving gratification to the tune of N264, 880,000.00.

The first defendant, Nwosu, had pleaded guilty to receiving the sum of N30 million out of the  alleged N23billion Diezani Allison-Madueke bribe meant to compromise electoral officers before the 2015 general election.

Consequently, Justice Idris had found Nwosu guilty and convicted him.

Justice Idris had also ordered the forfeiture of all the landed properties acquired by Nwosu with the alleged proceeds of crime, including the sum of N5m found in his bank account.

Though Nwosu later entered into a plea bargain with the EFCC, Justice Idris rejected the terms of agreement on the grounds that Nwosu’s offence was heavier than the plea bargain.

In view of this, Nwosu and other accused persons were re-arraigned on May 3, 2017 on an amended six-count charge by the EFCC.

Prior to their re-arraignment, the third defendant, Adedoyin, had also entered into plea bargain with the EFCC.

He was subsequently convicted by the court.

However, during the May 3 sitting, Nwosu had changed his counsel as well as his plea from guilty to not guilty.

At the resumed sitting today, both the prosecution and defence counsel cross-examined and re-examined a prosecution witness, Usman Zakari , an investigator  with the EFCC, in respect of the documents obtained from First Bank Plc, Union Bank Plc and Diamond Bank Plc with their attachments as well as responses from the banks to the EFCC.

The documents were admitted in evidence as exhibits F, FI and F2.

The prosecution also closed its case against the accused, having presented its witnesses in the case.

However, counsel to the accused persons told the court that the EFCC had no case against their clients.

The defence counsel also informed the court that they would make a no case submission within 10 days.

Justice Idris, after listening to both parties, adjourned the matter to March 7, 2018 for the adoption of no-case submission by the defence counsel.

Source: News Express

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