The Federal High Court, Asaba, Delta State has ordered that a serving official of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in Isoko South local government area of Delta State, Fidelia Omoile , be remanded in prison custody pending the determination of her bail application.
Omoile was on Monday arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on a two-count amended charge of conspiracy and money laundering.
She was among the INEC Officials that were accused of collecting bribes from former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison- Madueke, during the countdown to the 2015 general election.
Omoile was arrested on April 11, 2016, following an intelligence received by the EFCC on the activities of some INEC Staff, who allegedly connived with some Non-Governmental Organisations, NGOs, to defraud the federal government of huge sums of money, running into millions of Naira.
She was alleged to have collected a total of N112,480,000 in bribe during the 2015 election.
After the two-count charge was read to the accused person, she pleaded not guilty.
In view of her plea, prosecution counsel, Sadiq Hussaini, urged the trial judge, Efreti Abang, to fix a date for commencement of trial while also asking that the accused be remanded in prison custody.
However, counsel to the defendant, K. O Obamogie, made an oral application for his client to be granted bail, but this was opposed by the prosecution counsel.
In his ruling, Justice Abang turned down the defendant’s application for bail, directing that the application be filed formally.
He therefore ordered that the Omoile be remanded in prison custody pending the determination of her bail.
The matter was adjourned to June 6, for hearing.
Recall that the about 23 other INEC officials were arraigned before the federal high court in Abuja, also on allegations of bribery and money laundering during the 2015 general election in Rivers State.
This follows a report by a Police investigative panel which claimed it recovered millions of Naira from officials who had allegedly been bribed by the current Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, in order to tilt the election results in his favour and that of his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Governor Wike has since denied the allegations.