The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Monday arraigned a former minister of state for power, Muhammad Wakil, and four others before Justice M.T Salihu of the of Federal High Court, Maiduguri, Borno State on a 7-count charge bordering on criminal conspiracy and money laundering to the tune of over N341 million.
The others are Garba Abacha, Ibrahim Birma, Abubakar Kullima and Muhammad Kachalla
Mr Wakil and the other defendants allegedly received the money from the $115 million disbursed by a former minister of petroleum resources, Diezani 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 defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Counsel to the prosecution, H. A. Shehu, applied for a trial date, while urging the court to remand the defendants in prison custody.
In his 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.
Thereafter, Justice Salihu adjourned the matter to July 3 for hearing of the bail applications and ordered the defendants to remain in EFCC custody.