By Ajibola Abayomi, Lago —
Th e Gombe zonal offi ce of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC, yesterday arraigned the duo of Ibrahim Muhammed Umar and Sahabo Iya Hamman, both serving and retired staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission respectively, before Justice Nathan Musa of the Adamawa state High Court, Yola on a three-count charge bordering on conspiracy, corrupt procurement and receipt of monetary benefi t.
Ibrahim, the electoral offi cer in charge of Yola South Local Government Area of the state, allegedly conspired with Sahabo, a retired INEC staff and the state coordinator of West African Network of Election Observers (WANEO) during the 2015 presidential election, to receive the sum of N362million, being part of the N23 billion bribe allegedly distributed by former Petroleum Resources Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, to infl uence the outcome of the 2015 presidential poll.
Investigation revealed that N65.2 million from the money collected was shared among INEC offi cials in the state while N281.9m could not be accounted for by the accused persons.
Count two of the charge read, “Th at 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 offi cer 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 benefi t of Three Hundred and Sixty Two Million Naira, (N362,000,000.00) in favour of Public Offi cer 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 Off ences Act, 2000.” Th e accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Consequently, the prosecution counsel A. Y. Muntaka asked the court to fi x 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 N10million each and two sureties in like sum.
Th e sureties are also to have landed property worth N10million within the court’s jurisdiction which must also be verifi ed.