The Enugu Zonal office of EFCC on Friday May 25, 2018 arraigned three serving and former officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Imo State.
The accused are: Igwe Chukwuemeka, the former Chief Administrative Officer; Irokwu Uma Okorie, a serving Administrative Secretary of the same office and an Accountant during the 2015 general election in the state INEC; Onyema Onyebuchi.
They were arraigned before Justice Lewis Alagoa of Federal High Court, Owerri, Imo State on a three -count charge of conspiracy and money laundering to the tune of N11,660,000 (Eleven Million, Six Hundred and Sixty Thousand Naira).
The arraignment of the trio was sequel to their roles in the collection and distribution of funds released by the former Minister of Petroleum Resources under Dr. Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, Mrs. Alisson Madueke to some INEC officials during the 2015 general election.
Investigations revealed that the returning officers and local government collection officers in the state were each paid, N500.000 while those at the wards were each paid N250,000.
The money was received by Igwe Chukwuemeka and Irokwe Uma Okorie on the directive of a memo from INEC headquarters that a Non Governmental Organisation, West African Network of Election Observers (WANEO) disbursed the funds through Fidelity bank on the instruction of Madueke.
They all pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to them. Thereafter, prosecution counsel H.O Anasoh with Onome Umukoro, asked the court for a trial date stating they were ready for trial. But Prince N.K Iheme, Mike Onyekachi and S.I. Azuanu, counsel to first, second and third defendants respectively all moved for motion for bail for their clients.
As there was no objection from the prosecution team, the trial Judge granted the defendants bail in the sum of N150 million each with one surety in like sum. The surety who must be resident must have landed property within the court’s jurisdiction.
He adjourned the case to September 24,25, 26 2018 for trial.