Alleged Money Laundering: Iwu, Ex- INEC Boss, Remanded in EFCC Custody

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A Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday remanded a former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Maurice Iwu, in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) pending the hearing of his application for bail.

Iwu was arraigned at the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on a four-count charge bordering on money laundering. The former INEC chairman was alleged to have between December 2014 and March 2015, aided the concealment of the sum of N1.2billion. The said sum was in the bank account of Bioresources Institute of Nigeria Limited domiciled in the United Bank for Africa PLC.

Counsel to Iwu, Mr. Ahmed Raji, while moving the motion for bail, told the court that his client had been on administrative bail prior to arraignment and had not missed an appointment or jumped bail.

He also told the court that he had filed a motion challenging the territorial jurisdiction of the court but would like to wait till after bail was determined.

EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, in his response opposed the bail application. Oyedepo said he had just been served the motion for bail on Thursday morning and needed time to study the particulars, prompting Ahmed to quickly urge the court to release the defendant to him instead of being remanded in prison pending the hearing of the bail application.

The judge however ruled that the bail application could not proceed until the jurisdiction of the court was determined, noting that deciding on application for bail presupposes that the court has jurisdiction over the matter.

He consequently directed that Iwu be remanded in EFCC custody.