The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on Thursday arraigned former two former officials of Kwara State office of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Christian Nwosu and Tijani Nda Bashir before the State High Court sitting in Ilorin on a seven counts charge of criminal breach of trust.
One of the counts reads: That you, Christian Nwosu and Tijani Nda Bashir on or about the 27th day of February, 2013 in Ilorin within the jurisdiction of this honorable court while in the employment of Independent National Electoral Commission INEC agree among yourselves to carry out an illegal Acts to with criminal breach of trust in respect of the sum of N731m entrusted to you in your capacity as a public officer contrary to the provision of section 97 of the penal code.
According to EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, the offenses for which defendants are charged are punishable under section 315 of the penal code.
Oyedepo told the court that the defendants used the account of Abdurahamo Adebayo one of INEC staff domiciled in First Bank to launder the funds.
The prosecution also informed the court that various corporate account of Advaita NIG LTD and Heizza & Diss NIG Ltd. which the 2nd defendants is a signatory to were used to fraudulently retain part of the stolen funds as discovered in the course of the investigation.
The two defendants pleaded not guilty to the seven counts charge.
Consequently, counsel to the first defendant, Obinna Okereke, urged the court to grant his client bail on liberal terms since the accused have been in EFCC custody since the 7th of March.
Second defendant’s counsel, Nelson Imoh also asked the court to grant bail on most liberal terms and conditions to his client.
But while opposing the request, the prosecution asked the court to refuse bail to the accused in order to facilitate accelerated hearing of the case or to, in the alternative, imposed conditions that will ensure that the defendants attend their trial.
In his brief ruling, Justice Sikiru Akintoye granted bail to the defendants in the sum of N50m each with two sureties who must have landed property and deposed to an affidavit of means.
The judge also asked the defendant to deposit their international passport to the court.
He adjourned the suit to 26th and 27th of April, 2018 for trial while ordering that the defendants be remanded in prison custody pending fulfillment of bail conditions.