N450m Fraud: EFCC closes case against ex-power minister, Wakil, four others

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The Maiduguri Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Wednesday, June 14, 2023, closed its case against a former Minister of Power, Mohammed Wakil and four others.

The prosecution closed its case before Justice K. Dagat of the Federal High Court, Maiduguri, Borno State, after presenting three witnesses.Wakil, alongside Garba Abatcha, Ibrahim Shehu Birma, Dr. Abubakar Ali Kullima and Engr. Muhammad Baba Kachalla, were re-arraigned on a-seven count charge of criminal conspiracy to commit money laundering to the tune of N450,000,000.00 (Four Hundred and Fifty Thousand Million Naira).

They were alleged to have received the said sum from the $ 115 million disbursed by a former minister of petroleum resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke to influence the outcome of the 2015 presidential election.Count one of the charges read: “That you, Hon. Muhammad Wakil, Garba Abatcha, Ibrahim Shehu Birma, Dr. Abubakar Ali Kullima and Engr. 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 amongst 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, 2022 (as amended).”

They pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.Before closing its case today, the prosecution counsel, Mukhtar Ali Ahmed appeared alongside S.O Saka, Faruku Muhammad, A.D Aliyu, V.O Ekanem, and A. A Ayanshola tendered some documents including the statements of the defendants, evidence of payment received by the three Senatorial districts, a draft from the first defendant, and a response letter from Fidelity Bank detailing the means of identification of the first and second defendants, which were admitted as exhibits.Justice Dagat thereafter adjourned till October, 3,4, and 5, 2023 for the defendants to open their defence.

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