Diezani Bribe: EFCC Arraigns Ex-Minister, Akinjide, Others for N650m Fraud
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 arraigned a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Jumoke Akinjide, Senator Ayo Adeseun and a Peoples Democratic (PDP) stalwart, Chief Olanrewaju Otiti, before Justice M. S. Hassan of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, on an amended 24-count charge bordering on money laundering to the tune of N650million.
The defendants were alleged to have received the money from a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, in the build-up to the 2015 general election.
The money was part of the $115million allegedly disbursed by Madueke to influence the outcome of the 2015 presidential election.
One of the counts reads:
“That you, Mrs. Diezani Alison Madueke (still at large), Oloye Jumoke Akinjide, Senator Ayo Ademola Adeseun and Chief Olanrewaju Otiti, on or about the 26th day of March, 2015 in Nigeria, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court conspired amongst yourselves to directly take possession of N650,000,000.00 (Six Hundred and Fifty Million Naira), which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of an unlawful act and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012 and punishable under section 15 (3) & 4 of the same Act.”
Another count reads:
“That you, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide on or about the 26th day of March, 2015 in Nigeria, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court and without going through financial institutions, made cash payment of the sum of N107, 415,000.00( One Hundred and Seven Million, Four Hundred and Fifteen Thousand Naira) to one Chief Olanrewaju Otiti, which sum exceeded the amount authorised by law and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(a), Section 16(d) of the Money Laundering ( Prohibition) ( Amendment) Act, 2012 and punishable under Section 16 (2) (b) of the same Act.”
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to them.
In view of their pleas, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, asked for a date for trial.
Oyedepo further said: “I will leave the issue of bail of the defendants to the discretion of the Honorable court.”
However, counsels to the defendants prayed the court to allow their clients to continue to enjoy the bail earlier granted them by Justice Joyce Abdulmalik of the Federal High Court, Ibadan.
Consequently, Justice Hassan granted the oral applications moved by the defence counsels on behalf of their clients.
The case was adjourned to February 5, 6,13 and 14, 2018 for commencement of trial.
Akinjide had earlier been arraigned in June 2018 in Ibadan, where she was granted bail on self-recognition.
The judge had also directed that she submit her international passport.
However, the acting Chief Judge, Justice Adamu Kafarari had moved the case to Lagos at Akinjide’s instance.
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