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Alleged N100m Bribe: Trial of Chinese Begins June 29

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THE trial of two Chinese, Meng Wei Kun and Xui Kuoi of China Zhongao Nigeria Ltd., slated to begin , Monday, June 15, 2020 before Justice Muhammad Sa’idu Sifawa of the Sokoto State High Court, has now been slated to commence on June 29.

The postponement, disclosed in a statement signed by Dele Oyewale, Head, Media & Publicity of Economic and Financial Crimes (EFCC) follows the withdrawal of defence counsel, Ahmed Raji & Co from representing the defendants.

The duo are facing prosecution by the EFCC for allegedly offering to bribe the Sokoto Zonal Head of the Commission, Abdullahi Lawal to the tune of N100 million, out of which a part payment of N50 million  in cash was offered on May 12, 2020.

The suspects were promptly arrested by officers of the Commission.

China Zhongao Nigeria Ltd, a construction firm, is under investigation by the Commission in connection with the execution of contracts, awarded to it by the Zamfara State Government for the construction of township roads in Gummi, Bukkuyun, Anka and Nassarawa towns of the state; and also for the construction of 168  solar-powered boreholes in the 14 local government areas of the state, valued at N50 billion  between 2012 to 2019.

The Commission said the two defendants reached out to Lawal on behalf of the company, with an offer of N100 million  bribe so that the matter would be swept under the rug.

They were arrested and later arraigned on Friday, May 15, 2020 on two-count charges of conspiracy and offering bribe to a public servant to the tune of N100 million.

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Trial was to commence on Monday, with prosecution counsel, S. H. Sa’ad presenting three witnesses in court.
The new defence counsel, Abdullahi Omoloye, pleaded with the court for a two weeks grace to enable him prepare adequately for the trial.

Justice Sifawa  adjourned the matter till June 29 and 30, and July 1 and 2, 2020 for commencement of trial.

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