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EFCC arraigns former minister of power, Mohammed Wakil, others overalleged N341m fraud

By Ahmed Abu, The Nigerian Voice, Maiduguri
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EFCC Maiduguri Zonal Operation Office has arraigned former minister of power, honourable Mohammed Wakil to court in Maiduguri over an alleged money laundering.

However, Honourable Wakil and four other defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges read to them but the defendants are currently in EFCC custody.

It will be recalled that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had on Monday, July 2, 2018, arraigned the former minister of state of power, Honourable Mohammed Wakil, and four others before Justice MT Salihu of the of Federal High Court, Maiduguri.

A statement by the EFCC said the five accused were arraigned on a seven-count charge bordering on criminal conspiracy and money laundering to the tune of over N 341 million.

The statement issued by EFCC Maiduguri, further stated that the other four defendants include Garba Abacha, Ibrahim Shehu Birma, Dr Abubakar Ali Kullima and Engr Muhammad Baba Kachalla.

The statement added that Honourable Wakil and the other defendants allegedly received the said sum from the $115 million disbursed by the former minister of petroleum resources, Mrs. TueDiezani Alison-Madueke, to influence the outcome of the 2015 presidential election.

Count one reads: “That you, Hon Muhammad Wakil, Garba Abacha, Ibrahim Shehu Birma, Dr Abubakar Ali Kullima and Engr Muhammad Baba Kachalla on or about the 26th day of March, 2015, at Maiduguri, Borno state within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did agree among yourselves to do an illegal act, to wit: conspiracy to commit money laundering and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 18(a) of the money laundering (prohibition) act, 2011 (as amended).”

The statement said the defendants however pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The counsel to the prosecution, HA Shehu, applied for a trial date, while urging the court to remand the defendants in prison custody.

The statement further explained that in the reply, counsel to the first, second and third defendants, M Umoru, asked for the remand of the defendants in the EFCC custody pending the hearing of their bail applications.

Justice Salihu thereafter adjourned the matter to July 3, for hearing of the bail applications and ordered the defendants to remain in EFCC custody.

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