Top Police Bosses, INEC Officials Named In $115m Diezani Bribe

  Top Police Bosses, INEC Officials Named In $115m Diezani Bribe

The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) had tendered a document implicating top police officers and officials of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) who allegedly benefitted from the $115m bribe linked to the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Allison-Madueke to influence the outcome of the 2015 general election.

At the resumption of proceedings at a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, on Thursday, the anti-graft agency tendered before the court, a document consisting names of individuals who allegedly benefitted from the bribe.

Prominent among those named are: the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in Kwara state at the time who was alleged to have collected N1m cash. Also accused is the then Commissioner of Police in Kwara state who is said to have collected N10m cash while the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations at the time is said to have received N2m cash.

Also in the list are the Assistant Commissioners of Police in charge of operations and administration in Kwara state at the time. They are said to have received N1m cash each, while the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Kwara state and the Administrative Secretary in Kwara state for the 2015 general elections are also accused of receiving N10m and N5m in cash, respectively.

INEC Head of Department, Operations and “his boys” were allegedly given N5m, while some electoral officers, simply categorised as “other officers” were alleged to have received and shared N2m respectively.

The document further named the then OC Mopol and “his men”, who got N7m; the 21c Mopol and “his men” in the state, who got N10m; the Director of the State Security Service and his men, who got N2.5m, among those who allegedly benefitted from the bribe at the time.

The EFCC document also revealed how the military in Kwara state at the time was compromised with the sum of N50m, while other security agencies including the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and the Federal Road Safety Corps got N20m.

Usman Zakari, the EFCC investigator who appeared before the court claimed that the document was retrieved from Dele Belgore, a chieftain of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Dele Belgore.

Belgore is standing trial alongside a former Minister of National Planning, Prof. Abubakar Suleiman for allegedly collecting N450m from Diezani and distributing same to beneficiaries in Kwara State.

The anti-graft agency accused them of handling the money in cash without going through any financial institution, an act said to be an offence under Sections 1(a), 16(d), 15(2)(d) and18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012, an alleged offence liable to punishment under sections 15(3)(4), and 16(2)(b) of the same Act.

Zakari who was called in as the prosecution witness claimed that Belgore volunteered the list to the EFCC when he was invited and interrogated by the anti-graft agency.

The anti-graft agency also tendered before the court, another document with the title: “Kwara State” showed beneficiaries of a sum of N155.2m. among the beneficiaries were 15 electoral officers who each received, N250,000; 15 supervisors, who got N100,000 each; state Returning Officer, who got N1m, among others.

The EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN) tendered the documents before the court and they were admitted as Exhibit 7 and 7A, against Belgore and Suleiman, as their lawyers, Ebun Shofunde (SAN) and Olatunji Ayanlaja (SAN), raised no objection.

Justice Rilwan Aikawa adjourned further proceeding on the matter till July 7, 2017. 

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