Justice E.O Abang of the Federal High Court sitting in Asaba, Delta State on Thursday, 16 November, commenced hearing of a matter involving a former official of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Fidelia Omoile, who is facing trial on a one- count charge bordering on bribery to the tune of N112, 480, 000.00 (One Hundred and Twelve Million, Four Hundred and Eighty Thousand Naira only).
Omoile was a former INEC official in the Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta State during 2015 general elections. She is among scores of INEC officials being prosecuted by the EFCC for their suspicious transactions and exposure to the infamous Diezani Alison-Madueke's $115 million polls bribe.
When the matter was called, prosecution counsel, Kayode Oni presented Prosecution Witness 1, PW1, Babale Gwalo, an operative of the EFCC. In his testimony, the EFCC witness told the court that Omoile was arrested based on some intelligence linking her with the 2015 general elections' bribery scandal.
Upon her arrest, she wrote a statement about her involvement in the scam. Investigations showed that she allegedly collected the money, together with Askia Basunu, from Fidelity Bank, Inebisi Branch, Asaba, Delta State, and handed the money to one of her former colleagues, Orye, who is now late.
Gwalo told the court that, letters of the investigation were written to Fidelity Bank to explain the source and movement of the money.
According to him, Fidelity bank said the money was given to it by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN for some individuals. To access the money, such individuals must provide their identity cards.
An attempt to tender PWI's statement as an exhibit was resisted by the defendant's counsel, K.O. Okpamogie, who alleged that some documents unrelated to the transactions were attached.
Justice Abang, after listening to submissions by both counsels, adjourned the matter to 17 and 29 January 2018 for the continuation of trial.
In another development, the trial of a former banker, Onus Osagie, has commenced at the Federal High Court sitting in Asaba, Delta State. Osagie is facing a 25-count charge bordering on stealing, conspiracy and illegal transfer of more than N9million.
According to the petitioner: Access Bank Plc, Osagie committed the offense when he was in Information and Technology, IT unit of the Asaba branch of the bank. While on a relief duty, he allegedly defrauded the Delta State government by opening several accounts and inserted his name, family members, and friends into the payroll of the government and siphoned more than N9 million, between February and October 2011. Osagie pleaded not guilty to the charges while his accomplice, Jude Abi pled guilty at the point of arraignment before the court.
Justice Abang adjourned the matter to 17 and 29 January, 2018 for continuation of trial.
Head, Media & Publicity
16 November 2017