The operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Wednesday re-arrested two officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission after the duo’s court appearance.
Christian Nwosu and Bashiru Tijani, officials of the electoral body, are standing trial for allegedly conspiring with other officials to receive a N265 million bribe from former petroleum minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, during the 2015 general elections.
They were arraigned by the EFCC alongside another official, Yisa Adedoyin, who had pleaded guilty to receiving a cash payment of N70 million from Mrs. Alison-Madueke.
Mrs. Alison-Madueke, who is named in the charge, is said to be “at large.”
After Wednesday’s court proceedings before Mohammed Idris, the judge, the duo, who had been enjoying administrative bail, barely stepped out of the court’s premises when they were picked up by EFCC operatives and taken away.
No immediate reasons were given for their re-arrest.
But PREMIUM TIMES learnt that the anti-graft agency had established fresh revelations on how the INEC officials allegedly diverted another N450 million to a company named Advaita Nigeria Ltd.
While Mr. Nwosu served as INEC’s Administrative Secretary in Kwara State, Mr. Tijani was the commission’s Chief Accountant in the state.
During Wednesday’s proceedings, Usman Zakari, an EFCC investigator, explained how N30 million was paid into Mr. Nwosu’s bank accounts in Diamond Bank and Union Bank by one Abdulrahman Adedeji.
“On April 7 and 8, 2015, there was an inflow from the account of Abdulrahman Adedeji to the account of Nwosu Christian in the sum of N17 million and N13 million,” Mr. Zakari, the prosecution’s second witness, said.
“On April 7, 2015, there was also fund transfer of N69,306,920 million, from Kwara State INEC account into the account of Abdulrahman Adedeji.
The investigator told the court that the money was not part of the accused person’s emolument, and that after the election, the first accused, Mr. Nwosu, debited INEC account with N60 million.
At the last court date, Mr. Nwosu had denied receiving any bribe from Mrs. Alison-Madueke to rig elections but admitted collecting N30 million for “logistics.”
Last year, the judge rejected a plea bargain arrangement between Mr. Nwosu and the EFCC.
On Wednesday, the prosecution announced it had closed its case.
The defence lawyers said they would be filing a no-case submission on behalf of their clients.
The judge adjourned the matter till April 7 for the adoption of the no-case submission of the defendants and the EFCC’s response.
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