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Former INEC boss, Iwu, aided concealment of N1.23b, EFCC insists

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday informed Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court, Lagos, that the former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Maurice Iwu, allegedly aided the concealment of N1.23 billion in the account of Bioresources Institute of Nigeria Limited.

The money, the agency said, was domiciled in a Nigerian old generation bank.

EFCC made the revelation during the re-arraignment of Prof. Iwu over alleged involvement in a N1.23 billion fraud case.

It re-arraigned the professor of pharmacognosy who served as INEC boss between June 2005 and April 2010, on a four-count charge that border on fraud.

Iwu had earlier been arraigned in August before Justice Chuka Obiozor of the same court. His re-arraignment came due to the transfer of the case from Obiozor to Oweibo.

According to the charge by the EFCC, Iwu committed the offence in the build-up to 2015 general elections, which brought President Muhammadu Buhari to power.

The anti-graft agency particularly stated that between December 2014 and March 27, 2015, Iwu aided the concealment of N1.23 billion in the bank account of Bioresources.

Iwu ought to have known that the money formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act, to wit: fraud, EFCC insisted.

Counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo, informed Justice Oweibo that the accused acted contrary to Sections 18(a) and 15 (2) (a) of the Money Laundering ((Prohibition) Act 2011 and was liable to be punished under Section 15(3) of the same Act.

However, Iwu pleaded not guilty to the charge, prompting Justice Oweibo to allow him to continue on the N1 billion bail earlier granted him by Justice Obiozor.

The judge adjourned the matter till November 25, 2019 for commencement of trial.


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