Crime

EFCC names Belgore, Suleimon, others as beneficiaries in $115m election bribe

EFCC Nigeria

By Gbemi Solaja, Lagos

The Economic and Financial Commission has mentioned the  Assistant Inspector-General of Police in Kwara State as one of the beneficiaries of the $115million bribe shared to compromise the 2015 general election.

The individuals and public officials who benefited from the alleged bribe of $115m doled out by the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke includes: The assistant inspector-general of Police whowas said to have received N1m cash.the assistant commissioners of Police in charge of operations and administration in Kwara State were said to have received N1m cash each.

The commissioner of Police in Kwara State at the time was said to have received N10m cash, the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations went home with about N2m cash.

The INEC Head of Department, Operations and “his boys” were given N5m, while “other officers” received and shared N2m among themselves.

OC Mopol and “his men”, got N7m; 2 1/c Mopol and men in the state, who got N10m; the Director of the State Security Service and his men, who got N2.5m.

Resident Electoral Commissioner in Kwara State for the 2015 general elections was also given a cash of N10m, while the Independent National Electoral Commission’s Administrative Secretary in Kwara State at the time received N5m cash.

The military in Kwara State was bribed with N50m, according to the document, while other security agencies including the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and the Federal Road Safety Corps got N20m.

Among them were 15 electoral officers who each received, N250,000; 15 supervisors, who got N100,000 each; state Returning Officer, who got N1m, among others.

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Dele Belgore was said to have benefitted in the sum of N450m .

The figures were contained in a document tendered by the anti-graft agency before the Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday.

However, an investigator with the anti – graft agency, Usman Zakari, told the court that the document was recovered from Mr. Belgore.

Belgore is standing trial before Justice Aikawa for allegedly collecting N450m from Diezani and distributing same to beneficiaries in Kwara State.

The EFCC accused him of handling the money in cash without going through any financial institution, an act said to be an offence under sections 1(a), 16(d), 15(2)(d) and18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012.

The EFCC said Belgore is liable to be punished under sections 15(3)(4), and 16(2)(b) of the same Act.

Standing trial along with Belgore for the offence is a former Minister of National Planning, Prof. Abubakar Suleiman.

The SAN and the don were arraigned on charges of money laundering on February 8, 2017but they pleaded not guilty.

Zakari is the second witness to be called by the EFCC in its efforts to prove its case.

Testifying before Justice Aikawa on last Thursday, Zakari explained that Belgore volunteered the list to the EFCC when he was invited and interrogated by the anti-graft agency.

The investigator pointed out to the court that Belgore’s endorsement on the document titled, “Security and Transportation per State”, stating that “document supplied by me, Mohammed Dele Belgore (SAN).”

Equally, the EFCC exhibited another document recovered from Belgore also showing other beneficiaries.

The document simply titled “Kwara State” showed beneficiaries of a sum of N155,220,000 and the breakdown of what they got.

The two documents were tendered by the EFCC prosecutor, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, and admitted in evidence as Exhibit 7 and 7A, against Belgore and Suleiman, as their lawyers, Mr. Ebun Shofunde (SAN) and Mr. Olatunji Ayanlaja (SAN), raised no objection.

In his evidence, Zakari told the court that the EFCC’s findings showed that the money was disbursed in cash to the beneficiaries.

The matter was adjourned till July 7 for ruling.

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