Billy Graham Abel, Yola
A high court sitting in Yola has sentenced two Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials, Ibrahim Mohammed Umar and Sahabo Iya Hamman, to twenty one years in prison, respectively, after being convicted on N362 million money laundering charges in relation to the 2015 general elections.
The court, presided over by Justice Nathan Musa, has also declared Nigeria’s former Minister of Finance, Diezani Alison-Madueke, wanted on the same money laundering charge.
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The court found the INEC officials guilty on all three counts of the charges levelled against them, sentencing both to a maximum of seven years in prison for each count, to run concurrently.
The court in its submission of the three count charges said, “the defendants together with one Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke are being charged for the offences under the Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Act 2000.”
The defendants were convicted on three counts: “Conspiracy to corrupt public officers, contrary and punishable under section 26 (1)(c) and (d) of the Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Act 2000.
“Corruptly procure monetary benefit, contrary to and punishable under Section 9 (1)(a) and (b) of the Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Act 2000.
“Receive for yourself monetary benefit contrary to and punishable under section 10(a) (I) and (ii) of the Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences 2000.”
The judge in his ruling on the above charges said the amount distributed was not up to 5% of the money collected by the accused and that they were fully aware that it was not a reward for their work as INEC officials but that it was done to enrich themselves as permanent and ad hoc staff of the INEC.
The judge ordered the Inspector General of Police, DSS, Interpol, and other security agencies to produce the third defendant, Diezani Alison-Madueke, before the court for trial.
Abdulhamid Mustapha Labaran, counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFFC) said, “The EFCC is satisfied with the ruling, we started good and ended very good.
“The case is all about dealing with corruption.
“The case involves the amount of N362 million for the purpose of swiveling the minds of INEC officials in the 2015 general elections. We thank God for the ruling.
“We are ready to liase with other security agencies to see that the defendant that is at large is brought to face trial,” he said.