The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday arraigned three officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) before a Federal High Court in Lagos on an alleged fraud of N179. 8 million.
The three accused who are from Ogun State INEC office are: Yemi Akinwonmi, Dickson Atiba and Ogunmodede Oladayo.
They were arraigned before Justice Sule Hassan on an eight-count charge bordering on conspiracy, benefitting from proceeds of crime, receiving various cash sums without going through financial institutions and accepting various cash sums exceeding amount authorised by the law.
The three accused persons were said to have received the said money from Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB), United Bank for Africa (UBA), Stanbic/IBTC, Diamond Bank Plc, First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Skye Bank Plc and Diamond Bank Plc, sometimes in March 2015 during the general elections.
The offences, according to the prosecution led by Rotimi Oyedepo, are contrary to section 18 (a), 15(2)(d), 16 (d) 1(a), 16 (1) (d), and 16 (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 as amended and punishable under 15 (3)(4) and 16 (2)(b) of the same Act.
The accused however pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
Following their plea of not guilty, the prosecutor, Oyedepo, urged the court to remand them in prison custody pending their trial date.
But lawyers to the accused asked the court for a very short date for hearing of their clients’ bail applications
However, Justice Hassan, after listening to the submissions of both parties, adjourned the matter till August 6 for hearing of the accused bail applications.
In the proof of evidence before the court, among the prosecution witnesses to be called by the EFCC are Deborah Oni and Usman Zakari, investigators with the EFCC and representatives of the above-mentioned banks respectively.