N341m 2015 Election Funds: EFCC Docks ex-Power Minister, Four Other
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, yesterday arraigned a former minister of state for power, Muhammad Wakil, and four others before Justice M. T. Salihu of the Federal High Court, Maiduguri, Borno State, on a seven-count charge for criminal conspiracy and laundering of over N341 million.
The others are Garba Abacha, Ibrahim Birma, Abubakar Kullima and Muhammad Kachalla. The court ordered them remanded in EFCC facility.
Mr. Wakil and the other defendants allegedly received the money from the $115 million disbursed by a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, to influence the outcome of the 2015 presidential election.
The charge: Count one read: – “That you, Muhammad Wakil, Garba Abacha, Ibrahim Shehu Birma, Dr. Abubakar Kullima and Engr. Muhammad Kachalla on or about March 26, 2015 in 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 charge.
Counsel to the prosecution, H. A. Shehu, applied for a trial date, while urging the court to remand the defendants in prison custody.
In his reply, counsel to the first, second and third defendants, M. Umoru, asked for the remand of the defendants in EFCC custody, pending the hearing of their bail applications.
Thereafter, Justice Salihu adjourned the matter till today for hearing on the bail applications and ordered the defendants to remain in EFCC custody
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