The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday arraigned a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, and three others with money laundering.
Alison-Madueke, who was described in the charge as “still at large”, is being charged alongside three officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on seven counts of money laundering.
They are: Christian Nwosu, Yisa Olarenwaju and Tijani Bashir.
The charges were read over to the three accused at the Federal High Court, Lagos who were present in court, and Nwosu, pleaded guilty to the charges, while Adedoyin and Bashir pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The prosecutor, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo then informed the trial judge, Justice Mohammed Idris that Nwosu had elected to enter into plea bargain with the EFCC.
Oyedepo added that already Nwosu had made a refund of N5 million and surrendered the title document of a landed property he purchased for N25 million in Delta State.
Reacting, Nwosu’s lawyer, Mrs Adeku Nbangba, confirmed the position and pleaded with Justice Idris to temper justice with mercy in deciding the fate of the accused.
The judge adjourned till April 7, for sentencing and ordered that Nwosu be remanded at the EFCC custody.
Meanwhile, the judge granted bail in the sum of N50 million each to Adedoyin and Bashir, adding that they should deposit their international passport with the court’s registrar.
The prosecution had alleged that the accused committed the offense on March 27, 2015 by accepting bribe from the ex-petroleum minister.
They were also alleged to have conspired to take possession of the sum of about N264 million which sum they reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act of gratification.
The accused were also said to have made cash payments of the sum of about N235 million, which sum exceeded the amount authorized by law, without going through a financial Institution.
EFCC further alleged that Bashir (fourth accused) also made cash payment of about N70.1 million to Adedoyin (third accused) without going through a financial institution and which sum exceeded the amount authorized by law.
The prosecution also alleged that Bashir also directly took possession of the sum of about N165 million which sum he ought reasonably to have known formed part of an unlawful act of gratification.
In count seven, Nwosu (second accused) was alleged to have directly used the sum of N30 million which he ought to have known formed part of an unlawful act of gratification.
The offenses are said to have contravened the provisions of sections 15 (3), 16 (2) and 18 (a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Amendment Act, 2012.