Witness alleges INEC officials received N264.8m gratification

EFCC

• Court rejects visit to property allegedly acquired by Air Force ex-chief
• EFCC arrests NABDA DG, Ogbadu, over alleged N23m scam
• Judge’s absence stalls Dasuki’s trial again

A Prosecution witness for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Usman Zakari, yesterday told a Federal High Court, Lagos, that some officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) allegedly received about N264.8 million to rig the 2015 general elections.

Zakari, who is also an operative of the anti-graft agency, gave the testimony while giving evidence in the case against the INEC officials who are facing charges of corruption and undue enrichment.

According to the witness, following investigations, it was discovered that the first accused person (Nwosu), who was the Administrator of INEC in Kwara State at the time, signed for a payment of N264.8 million.

In a similar vein, a Federal High Court Lagos, yesterday said it was premature to visit the scene where evidence of the proceed of the alleged crime committed by former Chief of Air Staff, Adesola Amosu, is domiciled.

The court took the decision while rejecting the application by the EFCC urging it to conduct a visit to the scene of alleged crime.

In his ruling, Justice Mohammed Idris held that such a visit at this stage of the proceedings was premature.

He, therefore, adjourned till October 3 and 4 for continuation of trial.

In another development, the EFCC yesterday said it had arrested Director-General of the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), Prof. Lucy Jumeyi Ogbadu, over alleged N23 million fraud.

In a statement yesterday, the EFCC Spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, stated that Ogbadu was arrested in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, following her alleged involvement in criminal conspiracy and diversion of public funds and also her link with the Bayelsa State Director of Bio-resources Development Centre, Mr. Josiah Habu, who is being investigated by the anti-graft agency in an alleged case of fraudulent diversion of N75 million.

He said investigations by the EFCC showed that Ogbadu allegedly received N23 million through a bank account belonging to the wife of Habu, Mrs. Esther Habu.

Also yesterday, the absence of presiding Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf stalled the trial of former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (rtd), at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court.

The trial could not proceed as Justice Baba-Yusuf was said to have gone on an assignment outside Abuja.

The court clerk though declined comment, it was gathered that the judge was part of the Federal Capital Territory Judiciary delegation attending the burial ceremony of Justice Victoria Ayodele Uzo-Amaka Onejeme, a pioneer judge of the Abuja High Court who died recently.

Counsel in the matter, including Olajide Ayodele (SAN), Dr. Kayode Olatoke (SAN) and Mr. Akeem Afolabi (SAN), among others, left the court-room around 11:00 a.m. when information filtered that the trial would not proceed.

The lawyers and the court officials later shifted the prosecution till September 27 due to the coming yearly vacation of the court scheduled to begin on July 10 and terminate in the middle of September.



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