Billy Graham Abel Yola
A High Court sitting in Yola presided over by Justice Nathan Musa has sentenced two INEC officials, Ibrahim Mohammed Umar and Sahabo Iya Hamman, to 21 years in prison for laundering N362 million during the 2015 general election.
The court also declared former Minister of finance, Diezani Alison-Madueke, wanted for the same money laundering charges.
The court said the INEC officials were guilty on all three count charges levelled against them and would, therefore, serve a maximum of seven years for each of the count charges but that it would run concurrently.
The court in its submission of the three count charges said: “The defendants together with Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke are being charged for the offences under the Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Act 2000. The defendants have three charges, “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 procured monetary benefit, contrary to and punishable under Section 9 (1)(a) and (b) of the Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Act 2000.
“Received 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 five percent 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 INEC.
In view of the overwhelming evidence found against the election officials, the court then found the two INEC staff guilty on all three count charges and sentenced them to seven years for each of the three charges and that the sentence would run concurrently.
The judge then ordered the Inspector General of Police, DSS, Interpol, and other security agencies to produce the third defendant, Diezani, before the court for trial.
Abdulhamid Mustapha Labaran, the council to the EFFC, said: “The EFCC is satisfied with the ruling, we started good and ended very good.”