EFCC amends charge against Belgore, Suleiman, Diezani

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has amended the charge filed against a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Dele Belgore and former National Planning Minister Prof Abubakar Suleiman.

The former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke is also named in the charge.

Highlights:

  • Belgore and Suleiman, who were arraigned on February 8, are on trial before Justice Rilwan Aikawa of the Federal High Court in Lagos.
  • In the nine-count amended charge, EFCC accused Alison-Madueke, Belgore and Suleiman of making a cash payment of N10 million to a Kwara State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr Emmanuel Onucheyo.
  • They also paid N10 million to a Commissioner of Police Garba Saliu.
  • The defendants allegedly made the payments on March 27, 2015, without going through a financial institution.
  • The sums, the commission said, exceeded the amount authorised by law and violated Sections 1(a) and 16 (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act of 2012 and punishable under Section 16 (2) (b).
  • The defendants were accused of making a cash payment of N61,656,000 to Isa Biu on the same day, exceeding what is authorised by law.
  • EFCC said they also paid N87,962,000 to Sola Adeoti and Hajiya Dankaka on the same day “without going through a financial institution.
  • The prosecution, as in the previous charge, accused the defendants of violating the Money Laundering Act by dealing in excess cash without going through a financial institution.
  • EFCC said they “directly took possession of the sum N450 million,” adding that they “reasonably ought to have known [that the money] forms part of the proceeds of an unlawful act.”
  • It also accused them of “indirectly” using the sum of N450million on March 27, 2015, and of making a cash payment of N450 million, which exceeded the amount authorised by law.
  • According to the commission, Mrs Alison-Madueke, Belgore and Sulieman, on the same day, made a cash payment of N50 million to one Sheriff Shagaya, an amount in excess of what the law allowed.

The amended charge is dated November 22 and signed by Rotimi Oyedepo.

Belgore and Suleiman are expected to be re-arraigned tomorrow.

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