N362m Diezani Bribe: Appeal Court Affirms Conviction of Former INEC Officer

June 30, 2021
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The Court of Appeal, Yola Division, Adamawa State has affirmed the conviction of Ibrahim Mohammed Umar, a former electoral officer with the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in Yola South Local Government Area. Umar and his accomplice had earlier been convicted of a three count charge by an Adamawa State High Court and sentenced to Seven (7) years imprisonment for receiving monetary benefit (bribery) to the tune of N362 million, being part of the bribe allegedly distributed by a former minister of petroleum resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke to influence the outcome of the 2015 elections.

Umar was arraigned alongside a former staff of a new generation bank by the EFCC on September 28, 2018. During the trial, EFCC called 14 witnesses and tendered several documents which were admitted in evidence. Justice Nathan Musa, in his judgment, held that EFCC proved its case beyond reasonable doubt as investigation proved that the convict was identified as the person who signed and collected the said sum and was unable to account for its whereabouts.

He was therefore convicted and sentenced to seven years imprisonment without an option of fine on all the counts.

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Dissatisfied with the judgement, the convict approached the Court of Appeal, Yola Division on March 4, 2020 asking that the judgment of the lower court be set aside.

The appellate court on April 14, 2021 delivered its judgement, wherein it unanimously affirmed the judgment of the lower court.

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