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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

BRIBE: INEC staff convicted, to pay N10m, forfeit N23m property

anonymous informant     9:09 PM    


A Staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Yisa Olarenwaju, was on Wednesday convicted by a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos for sharing from N500 million
said to be proceeds of unlawful act.
Olarenwaju was among the INEC staff the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned along the immediate past Petroleum Resources Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, who was charged in absentia.
The convict, who pleaded guilty to receiving the sum of N70 Million, from the bribe money, was arraigned along two other INEC officials, Christian Nwosu and Tijani Bashir as well as the former minister.
The EFCC had leveled on them, a six-count charge bordering on money laundering to the tune of N500 million, to which they pleaded not guilty.
However Olarenwaju, who is the second defendant in the matter, later changed his not guilty plea to guilty.
Sitting on the case on Wednesday, Justice Mohammed Idris sentenced the INEC official based on a plea bargain agreement he entered with the EFCC on May 2.
Convicting and sentencing Olarenwaju, Idris held, that "There is no doubt that the second defendant is an elderly man. It is also not in contention that the second defendant is a first time offender.
"This court will temper justice with mercy. The court hereby adopts the plea bargain agreement as the judgment of the court".
Details of the plea bargain agreement is that upon the conviction of the second defendant, he should forfeit to the Federal Government of Nigeria all the parcel of land and its appurtenances which was acquired with the sum of N23million, the proceed of the second defendant's unlawful acts.
And that "a fine of N10 million be imposed on the second defendant, upon his conviction based on count four of the amended charge.
"That in paying the fine of the sum of N10million, the second defendant shall raise a draft of N5million in addition to the sum of N5 million already recovered from him.
"He shall within seven days after the payment of the fine imposed by the court, enter into a bond with the EFCC, never to be involved in economic and financial crimes within and outside the shores of Nigeria".
Justice Idris had during the last time the matter was heard thrown out an earlier plea bargain arrangement reached by the first defendant, Christian Nwosu, insisting that the plea bargain could not save Nwosu from serving a stiffer sentence.
According to Justice Idris, the provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), stipulates that such a convict deserves a sentence that was stiffer.
However the third defendant, following his not guilty plea was admitted to bail in the sum of N50m with two sureties in like sum.
While the case was adjourned until May 15, Justice Idris held that the two sureties must be owners of landed property within the court's jurisdiction.


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