Court Remands INEC Staff In Prison For N112.4 Million Scam

A Federal High Court in Asaba, Delta State ordered an Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) official, Fidelia Omoile, to be remanded in prison custody after arraigning her for a two-count amended charge bordering on conspiracy and money laundering.

Mrs. Omoile, who served as an INEC official in Isoko South Local Government Area during the 2015 presidential election, was charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for collecting a bribe of N112,480,000. She was allegedly one of the 100 INEC officials to receive bribes from former Minister of Petroleum Resources Diezani Alison-Madueke, who allegedly disbursed roughly $115 million total in bribes.

It would be recalled that Mrs. Omoile was arrested on April 11, 2016 after the EFCC received a tip that she was bribed during the run-up to the 2015 election.

Justice O. Efreti Abang presided over the hearing and read the charges to the INEC staff.

Count one of the charge reads, “That you, Fidelia Omoile, on or about the month of March 2015 at Asaba within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, did Conspire among yourselves to receive cash payment in the sum of N112,480,000.00, exceeding the statutory limit without going through a financial institution and thereby committed an offense contrary to Section 18 (a) of the Money laundering (Prohibition) Act 2012 as amended and punishable under Section 15 (3) and (4) of the same Act.”

Count two reads, “That you, Fidelia Omoile, on or about the month of March 2015, at Asaba within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, did receive cash payment in the sum of N112,480,000.00, exceeding the statutory limit without going through a financial institution and thereby committed an offense contrary to Section 1 (a) of the Money laundering (Prohibition) Act 2012 as amended and punishable under Section 16 (b) and (4) of the same Act.”

The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges.

In view of her plea, prosecution counsel Sadiq Hussaini asked for a trial date and moved for the defendant be remanded in prison custody. However, counsel to the defendant, K. O. Obamogie, made an oral application for bail of his client and urged the court to grant his prayers, which Mr. Hussaini opposed.

In his ruling, Justice Abang turned down the defendant’s application for bail, directing that the application be filed formally. He also adjourned the matter to June 2017 for hearing and ordered the defendant to be remanded in prison custody pending the determination of her bail.

Author: NewsAdmin

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