Friday, 9 June 2017

SHOCKER: Secret Document Reveals How Top Police Officers, DSS, Army Shared In Diezani's $115m Loot

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commis s ion (EFCC) has revealed how senior officers of the military, police as well as the Department of State Services (SSS) allegedly benefitted in the $115 million bribe shared by a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, to compromise the 2015 general elections.

Also, officials of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), as well as officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were named as beneficiaries.

The document containing the names of the beneficiaries was tendered yesterday before Justice Mohammed Rilwan Aikawa of a Federal High Court in Lagos by the anti-graft agency through its lawyer, Rotimi Oyedepo, at the resumed trial of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mohammed Dele Belgore and a former Minister of Planning, Prof. Abubakar Sulaiman, over alleged N500 million fraud.

In the document, which was said to have been recovered from Belgore, it was stated that the Resident Assistant Inspector- General of Police in Kwara State at the time of the election received N1 million cash.

The document further revealed that while the Commissioner of Police in Kwara State at the time received N10 million cash, the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations got N2 million cash.

Assistant Commissioners of Police in charge of operations and administration in Kwara State were also said to have received N1 million cash each.

The document also showed that the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Kwara State for the 2015 general elections was also given a cash of N10 million, while the INEC’s Administrative Secretary in Kwara State at the time also received N5 million cash.

The document further indicated that the INEC Head of Department, Operations and “his boys” were given N5 million, while “other officers” received and shared N2 million among themselves.

Also listed as beneficiaries of the fund in Kwara State were; OC Mopol and “his men”, who got N7 million; 21c Mopol and his men in the state, who got N10 million and the Director of the State Security Service and his men, who got N2.5 million.

The military in Kwara State was also said to have been bribed with N50 million, while other security agencies, including the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and the Federal Road Safety Corps got N20 million.

At yesterday’s proceedings, the EFCC also exhibited another document titled, “Kwara State” that was equally recovered from Belgore showing list of other beneficiaries from the state. The document revealed those that benefited in the sharing of the sum of N155,220,000 and the breakdown of what they got.

Among them were; 15 electoral officers who allegedly received N250,000 each; 15 supervisors that got N100,000 each and the state Returning Officer, who got N1 million.

The two documents were tendered by the EFCC’s lawyer, Oyedepo, and were admitted as exhibits by the court, in the absence of any objections from the defence lawyers. Giving evidence on the documents, an investigator with the anti-graft agency, Usman Zakari, revealed that the document was recovered from Belgore in the course of investigation.

Zakari, who is the second witness to be called by the EFCC in the matter, also drew the court’s attention to the silk’s endorsement on the document titled, “Security and Transportation per State”, which reads; “document supplied by me, Mohammed Dele Belgore (SAN).” Zakari told the court that investigations by his team revealed that the money was disbursed in cash to the beneficiaries.

“My Lord, the mode of payment, as contained in Exhibit 7, is cash payment. The payments were not done through any financial institution,” he said.

Justice Aikawa later entertained arguments from Belgore’s lawyer, Ebun Shofunde (SAN), on an application seeking the dismissal of the charges against his client on the premise that the EFCC failed to attach an affidavit showing that it had concluded investigation in the case before bringing it to court.

In his arguments, Shofunde submitted that the failure of the anti-graft agency to attach an affidavit indicating it had concluded investigation before filing the suit was a fundamental breach of the court’s practice direction.

He said this had rendered the charge incompetent and, as such, the court should quash the charge and free his client. In his response, EFCC’s lawyer, Rotimi Oyedepo, argued that the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015, which is the current law governing criminal cases in the country, did not list affidavit filing as one of the conditions that must be fulfilled before a criminal charge could be filed in court.

While stressing that the provisions of the ACJA were superior to that of the Federal High Court Practice Direction, Oyedepo referred Justice Aikawa to Section 221 of the ACJA which barred a judge from entertaining any application challenging the competence of charges in a criminal case in the middle of trial.

The attention of the judge was also drawn to Section 396 (2) of the Act, which barred him from making any pronouncement ruling on such application until final judgement is delivered.

Oyedepo urged the judge to dismiss the application, saying granting it would “amount to slaughtering justice on the altar of technicality.”

Ruling on the application has been fixed for July 7.

In a five-count amended charge, Diezani was alleged to have conspired with Belgore and Sulaiman on or about March 27, 2015, to directly take possession of the sum of N450 million, which they reasonably ought to have known forms part of proceeds of unlawful act.

The three of them were also alleged to have taken the said funds in cash, which exceeded the amount authorized by law, without going through the financial institutions.

Belgore and Sulaiman were also alleged to have paid the sum of N50 million to one Sheriff Shagaya, without going through the banks.

The offences were said to be contrary to Sections 18(a), 15(2)(d), 1(a), 16(d) and punishable under Sections 15(3) and 4, 16 (2) (b), and 16(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012.

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