N23 billion Diezani bribe: Absence of the accused stalls judgment

Justice M.B Idris of Federal High Court, sitting in Ikoyi today 7th April, 2017, adjourned the judgment in a case of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC officials, Christan Nwosu and two others who participated in the sharing of N23 Billion slush funds meant for the buildup of 2015 general election to compromise electoral officers.

Nwosu and two other INEC officials was earlier arraigned on 5th of April, 2017 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC before Justice Idris of the same Court 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 Naira), which Nwosu pleaded guilty of receiving N30million from the said campaign bribe money.

Nwosu and two others, Yisa Olanrewaju Adedoyin and Tijani Bashir had on March 27, 2015, allegedly received the slush bribe money from the former minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Allison Madueke during the administration of the former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, in the build up of the 2015 general election.

Count one of the charges reads: that you, Mrs. DIEZANI Allison Madueke (still at large), Christan Nwosu, Yisa Olanrewaju Adedoyin and Tijani Bashir on or about the 27th day of March, 2015 in Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this Honorable 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.

The second and third accused, Adedoyin and Bashir, pleaded not guilty while first accused, Nwosu pleaded guilty to the charge against him.

Justice Idris, found Nwosu liable as charged on count seven and fixed today, April 7 for his sentencing.

However, when the matter was mentioned today, the defendants were not in Court, the prosecution counsel, Nkereuwem Anana asked for an adjournment so as to produce the defendants on the next date.

Presiding Justice Idris adjourned the matter to 27th April, 2017 for judgement.

SOURCE: African Spotlight