A Federal High Court in Lagos
on Friday fixed judgment for April 27 in the trial of an INEC official,
Christian Nwosu, who pleaded guilty to the charge of money laundering. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had charged a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Allison-Madueke and three officials for money laundering.

Allison-Madueke,
 who was described in the charge as “still at large”, is charged
alongside the three officials of the Independent National Electoral
Commission on a seven-count charge bothering on money laundering.
The INEC officials are Christian Nwosu, Yisa Olarenwaju and Tijani Bashir.
When the officials were arraigned, Nwosu entered a guilty plea, while Adedoyin and Bashir denied the charges.
The court had adjourned the case for sentence of  Nwosu until Friday, April 7.
However,  Justice Mohammed Idris
could not proceed with the judgment  following the absence of the
accused in court as they were said to have been held up in traffic.
He then reserved the judgment for April 27.
Nwosu was remanded in the EFCC custody, while the other accused persons were granted N50 million bail each.
Earlier, the Prosecutor, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, informed the court that Nwosu had entered into plea bargain with the EFCC.
He
added that Nwosu had already made a refund of N5 millon, and also
surrendered the title documents of a landed property he purchased for
N25 million in Delta.
Reacting, Nwosu’s lawyer, Mrs Adeku Nbangba, confirmed the position and pleaded with Justice Idris to temper justice with mercy in deciding the fate of the accused.
The
prosecution alleged that the accused committed the offences on March
27, 2015 by accepting bribe from the former Petroleum Minister.
They
were alleged to have conspired to take possession of the sum of about
N264 million which sum they reasonably ought to have known formed part
of the proceeds of an unlawful act of gratification.
The
accused were also said to have made cash payments of the sum of about
N235 million which sum exceeded the amount authorised by law without
going through a financial institution.
The
anti-graft body alleged that Bashir (the fourth accused) also made cash
payment of about N70.1 million to Adedoyin (third accused) without
going through a financial institution and which sum exceeded the amount
authorised by law.
According to the
prosecution, Bashir also directly took possession of the sum of about
N165 million which he ought reasonably to have known formed part of an
unlawful act of gratification.
Nwosu was
also alleged to have directly used the sum of N30 million which he ought
to have known formed part of an unlawful act of gratification.
The
offences contravened the provisions of Sections 15 (3), 16 (2) and 18
(a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Amendment Act, 2012.

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