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Explainers - July 3, 2018

Nigeria’s EFCC arraigns ex-minister, four others for laundering N450m

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Maiduguri Zonal office yesterday, arraigned the former minister of State, Power, Mohammed Wakil at the Federal High Court in Maiduguri, on seven count charge for laundering N450m being proceeds from $115m, PDP’s campaign fund alleged disbursed by former minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.

Others indicted with the former minister include Garba Abacha Omar, Ibrahim Shehu Birma, Dr. Abubakar Ali Kullima, and Engr. Muhammad Baba Kachalla.

According to EFCC lawyer Halima Shehu, the money laundering case against the defendants was received by the commission through an intelligence report.

In her view, the defendants agreed to make and receive cash payments above the threshold of the financial institutions, and an investigation was conducted, and incriminating facts to justify the prosecution were established against the defendants.

“Count one of the charge reads:  ‘That you , Hon Mohammed Wakil , Garba Abacha Umar, Ibrahim Shehu Birma , Dr Abubakar Ali Kullima and Engnr . Muhammad Baba Kachalla on or about the 26th day of March, 2015 at Maiduguri, Borno State, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did agree among yourselves to do an illegal act, to wit: conspiracy to commit money laundering and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 18 ( a) of the money laundering ( prohibition ) Act, 2011 ( As Amended ).

The defendants pleaded not guilty to the seven charges and the presiding judge, Judge Mohammed Saliu, objected to defendant Mohammed Umar’s request for bail and ordered that the defendants be remanded in custody. He adjourned the case to 3rd of July this year.

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