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EFCC arraigns Kogi INEC workers, banker over N40m fraud allegations

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned 22 officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and a retired director of the agency, Ahmed Stephen Ozouche, in Kogi State for alleged criminal conspiracy.

They were arraigned before Justice Alaba Ajileye of the Kogi State High Court, Koton-Karefee. In a statement yesterday in Abuja by the acting spokesperson to the commission Tony Orilade, the anti-graft body alleged that sometimes in March 2015, the defendants engaged themselves in criminal act of conspiracy to fraudulently obtain N32, 120,000 as benefits to themselves during the 2015 general elections.

Prosecuting counsel, G.K. Latona, informed the court that the matter was slated for arraignment but a deceased defendant could be paraded. The defence team, however, argued, “the prosecution ought to have known by now that the second defendant cannot be in court to take his plea.”

Justice Ajileye, thereafter, ordered those present to take their pleas.They all pleaded not guilty when the charge was read to them.
They were afterwards admitted to bail in the sum of N10 million, one surety in like sum. The surety, according to the court, must not be below Level 12 in the federal or state civil service.

Consequently, the presiding judge adjourned the matter to December 6 for hearing.Also yesterday, the EFCC arraigned one Helena Chinelo Odogwu, a cash officer with the Adankolo Branch Lokoja of the United Bank for Africa, before same judge on a one-count charge of theft and misappropriation of N8 million.

After mention, the defendant was later admitted to bail in the sum of N5 million, one surety in like sum, which must not be below the level of a principal officer.The matter was subsequently shifted the matter to December 13.


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