The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned Joel Madaki and Felix Bilishan Tagwame, before Justice A.M. Anka of the Federal High Court, Yola, Adamawa State, on four counts bordering on conspiracy, misappropriation and diversion of funds.
Investigation into the $115million fraud involving Diezani Alison-Madueke, a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, was linked to them. It was further revealed that the said funds were exchanged to an equivalent of N23, 299,705,000 and was used for the 2015 presidential election.
Substantial amount of the funds, investigations showed, were shared to some staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) across the nation by Fidelity Bank on behalf of Madueke.
The accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The prosecution counsel, A.M. Labaran asked for a date for trial to commence and urged the court to remand them in prison custody. But the defence counsel, A.T. Shehu, moved applications for bail which was opposed by the prosecution.
Justice Anka, after listening to the various arguments, granted them bail in the sum of N200million and surety in like sum.
The matter has been adjourned to February 5, 2019 for trial.
The EFCC will on December 10 arraign the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Paul Usoro (SAN) at the Federal High Court, Lagos, over alleged N1.4billion fraud.
He will be arraigned before Justice Muslim Hassan.
The anti-graft agency claims that Usoro converted and laundered the money in connivance with Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State.
However, the governor was not listed as a defendant in the charge, as the EFCC indicated that he is “currently constitutionally immuned against criminal prosecution.”
Also mentioned in the body of the charges are one Nsikan Nkan, described as Commissioner for Finance, Akwa Ibom State; Mfon Udomah, described as the Accountant General of Akwa Ibom State; Uwemedimo Nwoko, the Akwa Ibom State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice and Margaret Ukpe, all of whom were said to be at large.
The anti-graft agency claimed that the N1.4billion allegedly converted and laundered by the defendants belonged to the Akwa Ibom State government.