The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday re-arrested a former Administrative Secretary at the Kwara State office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mr. Christian Nwosu.
He was arrested after yesterday’s proceedings in another criminal case at the Federal High Court in Lagos.
EFCC charged Nwosu and Tijani Inda Bashir with receiving N30 million bribe from former Petroleum Minister Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke to rig the 2015 election result.
They were arraigned with Yisa Adedoyin, who pleaded guilty to receiving cash payment of N70,050,000 from Mrs. Alison-Madueke.
Mrs. Alison-Madueke is also named in the charge, but is said to be “at large”.
Nwosu pleaded guilty when he was first arraigned, but changed his plea to not guilty after claiming EFCC induced him to plead guilty.
Yesterday, EFCC’s investigator Usman Zakari tendered Nwosu’s account statements showing details of the N30 million.
The witness said Nwosu received N17 million in his Diamond Bank Plc account and N13 million in his Union Bank Plc account.
Zakari also tendered some title documents of land allegedly acquired by Nwosu with some of the funds.
After the documents were admitted in evidence, the prosecution closed its case.
Defence counsel Victor Opara said his client would file a no-case submission, meaning they do not intend to call any witness to defend the case because they believe the prosecution’s case is weak. After the proceedings, Nwosu and his co-accused were arrested.
It was learnt that their arrest was in connection to a fresh finding by EFCC that they allegedly diverted N450 million to a company called Advaita Nigeria Limited through an INEC cashier.
Bashir is said to be a director in the company.
EFCC said Nwosu is a signatory to an account where the money was hidden, and that his wife benefited N11.8 million.
The commission said Bashir got N25 million through a company called Heiza Nigeria owned by his relative, Saliu Yakubu.
Nwosu had claimed that the N30 million he collected was for logistics purposes during the election, and that his office knew how the money was spent.
He also said the money was shared to INEC ad-hoc staff for logistics.
Nwosu had earlier claimed that EFCC allegedly forced him to surrender his property worth N30 million and that he was induced to part with N5 million in a bid to regain his freedom.
According to him, the statements he made at EFCC were dictated to him while the one he made voluntarily was described as “rubbish”.
Justice Mohammed Idris adjourned till March 7 for hearing of the no-case submission.