The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Thursday re-arraigned a former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Maurice Iwu, over alleged N1.2 billion money laundering.
Iwu was made to reappear before Justice I. Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos.
It would be recalled that Iwu was first arraigned on August 8, before Justice Chuka Obiozor, a vacation Judge, but the matter was re-assigned to Justice Oweibo for trial.
The former INEC boss was alleged to have between December 2014 and March 2015, aided the concealment of the sum of N1, 203, 00,000.00 in the account of Bio-resources Institute of Nigeria (number 1018603119) domiciled in the United Bank for Africa( UBA) Plc.
This development was disclosed through a statement made by the anti-graft spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren in Abuja.
Count 2 of the charge reads: “That you, Professor Maurice Mmaduakolam Iwu, between December 2014 and March 27, 2015, in Nigeria, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, procured Bio-resources Institute of Nigeria(BION) Limited to retain the aggregate sum of N1, 203,00,000.00( One Billion, Two Hundred and Three Million Naira) in Bio-resources Institute of Nigeria, (BION) Limited’s Account No. 1018603119 domiciled in the United Bank for Africa Plc, which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of proceeds of unlawful act, to wit: fraud and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Sections 18 (c), 15(2) (c) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act , 2011, as amended, and punishable under Section (5) (3) of the same Act.”
But Iwu reportedly pleaded not guilty to the charge.
On this basis, the prosecuting counsel, Bilkisu Buhari asked the court for a trial date.
But the defence counsel, A.A Usman informed the court that the defendant has been enjoying the bail granted him by Justice Obiozor upon his first arraignment.
He, therefore, urged the court to allow the defendant to continue with the bail terms granted by Justice Obiozor.
Usman also informed the court that he had filed a motion challenging its jurisdiction to entertain the case.
In his ruling, Justice Oweibo adjourned the matter to November 25, for hearing of the motion.