Court remands former INEC boss Maurice Iwu over 1.2bn fraud

A FEDERAL High Court has ordered the remand of  Maurice Iwu, former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the custody of Nigeria’s anti-graft agency till Friday when his bail application would be heard. 

The order was given by Justice Chuka Obiozor on Thursday during the sitting of the court in Lagos, according to ChannelsTv.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had arraigned the former INEC boss for concealment, fraud and money laundering of N1.2 billion.

In four-count charges, EFCC alleged that Iwu encouraged the concealment of a total of N1,203,000 between December 2014 and March 2015.

The sum was said to be in a bank account belonging to Bioresources Institute of Nigeria Limited, a company where Iwu is currently the Executive Director, and domiciled in the United Bank for Africa, UBA Plc.

The anti-corruption agency believed that the money was part of the N23.29 billion slush fund allegedly shared by former petroleum minister, Diezani Allison-Madueke, in a build-up to the 2015 presidential election.

    Iwu was not only the former INEC officials fingered as one of the beneficiaries of the fund, but Auwal Jibrin, former Deputy Director of the commission had also been sentenced to six years imprisonment for receiving gratifications from the former Minister of Petroleum.

    At the court hearing today, Iwu, however, pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

    His counsel rather applied for bail. While the bail application hearing would be heard on Friday, the court ordered that Iwu should remain in the EFCC custody.

    Maurice Iwu, a professor of Pharmacognosy, was appointed the chairman of the electoral commission in June 2005 and was removed from office in April 2010 over his questionable conduct of the election.  He was replaced by Attahiru Jega in June 2010.

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