Former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Maurice Iwu, has been indicted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), for an alleged N1.23 billion fraud yesterday ( August 8), before the Federal High Court in Lagos.
EFCC in the four-count charge held that Iwu committed the offense during the conduct of the 2015 presidential polls in which the incumbent President at the time, Goodluck Jonathan, was defeated by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The anti-graft agency stated that within December 2014 and March 27, 2015, “ Iwu aided the concealment of N1.23 billion in the account of Bioresources Institute of Nigeria Limited with number 1018603119, domiciled in the United Bank for Africa (UBA).”
The EFCC said Iwu “ought to have reasonably known that the N1.23 billion formed part of proceeds of an unlawful act, to wit: fraud.”
The prosecuting counsel for the EFCC, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, told the court, presided over by Justice Chuka Obiozor that Iwu’s conduct was contrary to sections 18 (a) and 15 (2) (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 and was culpable to be punished under Section 15(3) of the same Act.
Iwu having heard the charges presented against him pleaded not guilty.
The prosecutor, however, requested that the court fixes a trial date and an order to confine him in prison.
Counsel to Iwu, Mr. Ahmed Raji (SAN), told Justice Obiozor that he had filed a bail application on behalf of his client, which had been served on the prosecution.
Meanwhile, Oyedepo claimed that he got the application of the bail yesterday morning and also told the court that he wishes to oppose it and therefore needed time to study it.
Following an agreement by the parties, Justice Obiozor in short ruling ordered that Iwu remains in the EFCC custody and adjourned to August 9 to receive debates on the bail application.