A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Monday ordered the remand of three officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in Ikoyi Prison, Lagos.
Justice Muslim Hassan ruled that the defendants; Yemi Akinwonmi, Dickson Atiba and Ogunmodede Oladayo, attached to Ogun state, be kept in prison for allegedly laundering N179.8million.
However, they pleaded “not guilty” to the eight charges pressed against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
The anti-graft agency said the defendants conspired and took possession of the money in March 2015, days before the 2015 general elections.
The EFCC said the suspects collected the sum from one Adeyinka Ayo-Aina, when they “reasonably ought to have known that the money formed part of proceeds of fraud.”
It added that they handled the cash without going through any financial institution, contrary to the provisions of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011.
The prosecution alleged that the first and second defendants, on or about April 7, 2015, made and accepted a cash payment of N69m, “which sum exceeded the amount authorised by law without going through a financial institution and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011, as amended, and punishable under Section 16(2) of the same Act.”
Hassan adjourned until August 6, 2018, to take the bail applications of the defendants.