Diezanigate: EFCC Amends Charges Against Belgore, Suleiman, Accuses Them of Bribing Kwara REC, CP with N10m Each

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has amended the charge filed against Kwara State governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2015 election, Dele Belgore (SAN) and former National Planning Minister, Prof Abubakar Suleiman.
Former Petroleum Resources Minister, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, who is said to be ‘at large’, is also named in the amended charge.
Belgore and Suleiman, who were arraigned on February 8, are on trial before Justice Rilwan Aikawa of a Federal High Court in Lagos.
In the nine-count amended charge, the EFCC accused Alison-Madueke, Belgore and Suleiman of making cash payment of N10m to Kwara State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr Emmanuel Onucheyo.
The anti-graft agency said the defendants also paid N10m to a Commissioner of Police, Garba Saliu.
According to the EFCC, the defendants allegedly made the payments on March 27, 2015 without going through a financial institution.
The sums, the commission said, exceeded the amount authorised by law and violated Sections 1(a) and 16 (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act of 2012 and punishable under Section 16 (2) (b).
The defendants were accused of making cash payment of N61.65m to Isa Biu on the same day, exceeding what is authorised by law.
The EFCC said the defendants also paid N87.96m to Sola Adeoti and Hajiya Dankaka on the same day “without going through a financial institution.”
The EFCC said they “directly took possession of the sum N450m,” adding that they “reasonably ought to have known (that the money) forms part of the proceeds of unlawful act.”
It also accused them of “indirectly” using the sum of N450m on March 27, 2015, and of making cash payment of N450m, which exceeded the amount authorised by law.
According to the commission, Mrs Alison-Madueke, Belgore and Sulieman, on the same day, made cash payment of N50m to one Sheriff Shagaya, an amount in excess of what the law allows.
Belgore and Suleiman are expected to be re-arraigned Tuesday.

Author: News Editor

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