Court orders arrest of former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Madueke
The Adamawa State High Court sitting in Yola has ordered the Inspector General of Police, Muhammed Adamu, to liaise with the International Police Organization, INTERPOL, to arrest a former Minister Of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.
The former minister is among three defendants charged before the court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a three counts for allegedly deploying over N362million derived from a $115m slush fund to influence the outcome of the 2015 presidential elections in favour of the candidate of the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The other defendants are Ibrahim Mohammed, the electoral officer in charge of Yola South Local Government Area of Adamawa State and Sahabo Iya-Hamman, a retired INEC staff and Adamawa State coordinator of West African Network of Election Observers (WANEO), during the 2015 presidential election.
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) and 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 officers 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, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Thereafter, Justice Nathan Musa granted bail to the defendants in the sum of N10m each and two sureties in like sum.
After more than two years of trial in which the prosecution called several witnesses and tendered documents that were admitted in evidence, the Judge convicted Ibrahim Mohammed and Sahabo Iya-Hamman, to seven years imprisonment on each of the three counts for receiving a bribe of N362 million from the former Minister of Petroleum.
The sentences are to run concurrently.
In convicting the defendants, the Judge held that he was satisfied by the testimonies of the 15 witnesses who appeared before the court and other material evidence tendered by the prosecution.
He observed that though N362 million was received by the officials, they only shared five per cent of the money to other staff of the commission and could not account for the balance.