The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned three officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) before a Federal High Court, Lagos for allegedly laundering N179.8 million
Consequently, the trial judge, Justice Muslim Hassan, ordered that they should be remanded in Ikoyi Prison.
The defendants, who are attached to the Ogun State office of the electoral umpire, are Yemi Akinwonmi, Dickson Atiba and Ogunmodede Oladayo.
The anti-graft agency is accusing them of conspiring to take possession of the said sum in March 2015, few days before the general elections.
The EFCC claimed that the accused received the money from one Adeyinka Ayo-Aina when they “reasonably ought to have known that the money formed part of proceeds of fraud.”
The agency further alleged that they “handled the cash without going through any financial institution, contrary to the provisions of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011.”
According to the counsel to the EFCC, first and second defendants, Nneameka Omenwa, on or about April 7, 2015, the accused made and accepted a cash payment of N69 million, an amount exceeding constitutional benchmark, without going through a financial institution and thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011, as amended, and punishable under Section 16(2) of the same Act.
The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the eight charges pressed against them.
The matter was subsequently adjourned to August 6, 2018 for hearing of their bail applications.