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Diezani Gate: Ex-INEC Officials Found Guilty Of Stealing Over Two Hundred Million Naira

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EFCC secures jail term for suspect

Two former officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Kwara State, Christian Nwosu and Tijani Bashir have been found guilty of money laundering offences to the tune of N264, 880,000.

Naija News understands that the judge who presided over the case after several deliberations from both parties decided to adjourn his final verdict till Friday for sentencing.

However, one of the accused persons, Nwosu, was absent in court. Nwosu was found guilty of benefiting from a sum of $115.01m which a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, doled out to compromise the 2015 elections.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said Nwosu collected N30m from the Diezani funds. He was convicted of bribery on Thursday by Justice Mohammed Idris.

Meanwhile, in another related development, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)has revealed that it has arraigned one Sirajo Bakoji in two separate courts on the same day.

Naija News learnt that the suspect was arraigned before Justice M. Nasir of the FCT High Court, Jabi on two counts bordering on obtaining money by false pretense to the tune of £19,000, and for yet another N25 million fraud charge before Justice Yusuf Halilu of a High Court of the FCT in Maitama, on Tuesday.

He allegedly received the monies under the guise of being a Bureau de Change operator, convincing his victims that he would convert the monies to other currencies as requested and remit equivalents of the same to them.

The suspect was said to have become incommunicado after receiving the funds.

He was eventually apprehended by EFCC operatives at a bank in Mubi, Adamawa State.

Count one of the charges before Justice Nasir read: “That you, Sirajo Musa Bakoji, Alhaji M. R. Musa (now at large) and Mary Musa (now at large), sometime in September 2015, at Abuja, within the Abuja Judicial Division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja did conspire to do an illegal act to wit: obtaining money by false pretence from one Umar Yakubu Turare and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 8(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act”.

The charge before Justice Halilu also read: “That you, Sirajo Musa Bakoji, on or about 9th of January, 2016 in Abuja within the Abuja Judicial Division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory did dishonestly convert the sum of N25,467,410 (Twenty Five Million, Four Hundred and Sixty Seven Thousand, Four Hundred and Ten Naira) only to your own use which sum was entrusted to you by one Alhaji Hassan Gambo to convert to United States Dollars and you thereby committed criminal breach of trust in respect of the said sum contrary to section 311 of the Penal Code Laws of the Federation (Abuja) 1990 and punishable under section 312 of the same Act”.

Upon arraignment before both judges, the suspect pleaded “not guilty” when the charges were read to him, with the help of Hausa interpreters.

In view of the plea of the defendant, prosecuting counsel, Maryam Ahmed, applied that the defendant is remanded in prison custody subject to the determination of bail application filed by the defense on Friday last week and served on the prosecution on Tuesday.

Counsel for the defendant, Francis Adejo, requested for a leave of court to move the bail application of his client.

Justice Nasir, however, ruled that the application was not ripe for hearing and ordered that he should be remanded in prison till February 5 when the court would hear his bail application.


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