Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Nigeria: EFCC Re-Arraigns Ex-Minister, Four Others on Alleged N450m Fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), on Tuesday, re-arraigned a former Minister of State for Power, Mohammed Wakil, and four others on an alleged N450 million money laundering charge.

In a statement signed by the anti-graft agency spokesperson on Tuesday, it said the accused were charged before Justice J.K. Dagad of the Federal High Court, Maiduguri, Borno State on a seven-count charge bordering on criminal conspiracy.

They were initially arraigned before Mohammed Salihu on July 2, 2018, before his retirement from service, which necessitated the need for the case to be re-assigned to a new judge.

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According to the statement, Mr Wakil is standing trial alongside Garba Abacha, Ibrahim Birma, Abubakar Kullima, and Muhammad Kachalla.

The EFCC said they allegedly collected $115 million from a former minister of petroleum resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, to influence the outcome of the 2015 presidential election.

The commission added that they committed the crime on March 26, 2015, in Maiduguri, Borno State.

According to the charges, their offence is contrary under section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended)”.

Court Session

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According to the statement, they all pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.

The counsel for the EFCC, Benjamin Manji, asked the court for a date for commencement of trial.

The trial judge however granted them bail on the earlier terms and conditions previously granted them by Mr. Salihu, the former judge.

The judge later adjourned the matter to November 5, 2019.

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