The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has re-arrested a former staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mr. Christian Nwosu, who initially acknowledged he collected N30 million from Mrs. Allison Diezani Maduekwe the former Minister of Petroleum to manipulate the outcome of the 2015 general elections.
The sum was part of the largesse allegedly distributed by Mrs. Diezani Maduekwe, to influence the last presidential election in favour of ex-president Goodluck Jonathan.
Mr. Nwosu and the second defendant, Tijani India Bashir, were re-arrested shortly after their ongoing trial at the Federal High Court In Ikoyi, Lagos. The development was necessitated due to the new revelation on how the former INEC officials diverted the sum of N450m to a company called Advaita Nig. Limited through the cashier of INEC.
According to the operative of the commission, Mr. Nwosu is a signatory to the the account where this funds was transferred to. It was also alleged that his wife benefited N11.8m from the said proceed of unlawful activities.
The anti-graft agency stated further that Mr. Bashir, who is the head of account department in INEC, benefited the sum of N25 million Nigeria through a company called Heiza Nig. Ltd owned by his relative, one Mr. Saliu Yakubu.
Prior to the arrest, the Commission had tendered an account statement of Mr. Nwosu, also a former Administrative secretary of INEC in Kwara State Mr. Usman Zakari, an investigative officer of EFCC, led by the commission's lawyer, Mr. Abdullahi Idris, who presented the document to show where the N30 million Mr. Nwosu allegedly benefited was warehoused. The defense did not object to the admissibility of the document.
At the last adjourned date, lead counsel to EFCC on the matter. Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo has sought for an adjournment to enable him certify the documents.
Mr. Zakari had in October of last year, tendered some title document of land allegedly acquired through proceed of unlawful activities. The defense team also hinted that in view of the evidence provided by the prosecution, the defense intends to file a no case submission.
Justice Mohammed Idris, the presiding judge, thereafter adjourned the case to the 7th of March 2018 for defendants to argue the no case submission application.
The two INEC officials are standing trial for allegedly conspiring with two other INEC officials to take a bribe of N264.8m from a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, to compromise the elections.
Mr. Nwosu was arraigned alongside two of his colleagues on April 4 for the offence.
In a plea bargain agreement he had with the EFCC, he pleaded guilty to collecting the money before he later change his guilty to not guilty. The offence was said to have been committed in March 2015.