By AUSTIN OWOICHO, Abuja
The Gombe zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Thursday arraigned the duo of Ibrahim Muhammed Umar and Sahabo Iya Hamman, both serving and retired staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, respectively, before Justice Nathan Musa of the Adamawa State High Court, Yola on a 3-count charge bordering on conspiracy , corrupt procurement and receipt of monetary benefit.
According to a statement signed by EFCC’s Head, Media & Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, Ibrahim, the electoral officer in charge of Yola South Local Government Area of Adamawa State, allegedly conspired with Sahabo, a retired INEC staff and Adamawa State Coordinator of West African Network of Election Observers (WANEO) during the 2015 presidential election, to receive the sum of N362m, part of the N23b bribe allegedly distributed by Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, former Petroleum Resources Minister to influence the outcome of the 2015 presidential poll.
Investigation revealed that N65.2m from the money collected was shared among INEC officials in the state while N281.9m could not be accounted for by the accused persons.
Count two of the charge read, “That you, Ibrahim Mohammed Umar, Sahabo Iya Hamman and Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke (now at large) sometime between March and May, 2015 at Yola, Adamawa State within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, while being a public officer working with Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), retired public servant and former Minister of Petroleum Resources (now at large) and in capacities, did corruptly procured monetary benefit of Three Hundred and Sixty Two Million Naira, (N362,000,000.00) in favour of Public Officer and staff working with Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of Adamawa State contrary to and punishable under Section 9 (1) (a) & (b) of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.”
The accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Consequently, the prosecution counsel A. Y. Muntaka asked the court to fix a date for trial and to remand the accused in prison custody. While adjourning the case to October 17, 18 and 19, 2017, Justice Nathan granted bail to the accused in the sum of N10m each and two sureties in like sum. The sureties are also to have landed property worth N10m within the jurisdiction of the court which is to be verified by the court.