Three officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) accused of receiving N179.8 million stolen money as bribe from former oil minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, have arraigned Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.
The three accused, Yemi Akinwunmi, Atiba Dickson and Ogunmodede Oladayo are brought before Justice Muslim Hassan, of the Federal High Court in Ikoyi on an eight-count charge bordering on conspiracy, diversion of public funds and money laundering.
The accused are accused of receiving slush funds in the build-up to the 2015 presidential election from the former minister.
Investigators discovered that some chieftains and members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, as well as some retired staff of INEC in Ogun State received monies to truncate the sanity of the 2015 elections.
One of the counts reads: “ That you, Yemi Akinwunmi, Dickson Atiba and Ogunmodede Oladayo, sometime in March, 2015 in Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, conspired amongst yourselves to directly take possession of the sum of N179,800,000.00(One Hundred and Seventy- nine Million, Eight hundred Thousand Naira) ,which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of fraud and you, thereby, committed an offence contrary to Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15 (3) and (4) of the same Act.”
The prosecutor counsel, Nnaemeka Omewa, prayed the court for a trial date and also asked that the defendants be remanded in prison custody, after the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against them.
In opposition to this prayer, Ayo Ogungbesan, the counsel to the defendant, made an oral bail application on behalf of his clients.
The Judge, however, turned down the bail application, an directed the defence council to make a formal application for bail on behalf of his clients.
Consequently, Justice Hassan adjourned the matter to August 6, 2018 for hearing of the bail application and ordered the defendants to be remanded prison custody.
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