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Maurice Iwu, former INEC chairman re-arraigned by EFCC over N1.23b fraud

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THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Thursday re-arraigned, former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Maurice Iwu, before the Federal High Court in Lagos for an alleged fraud of N1.23 billion.

Iwu was re-arraigned before  Justice Nicholas Oweibo on a four-count charge bordering on fraud and money laundering he allegedly participated in 2015.

The re-arraignment sequel to the transfer of the case from Justice Obiozor to Justice Oweibo which had started in August.

In one of the charges, the EFCC alleged that Iwu committed the offence in the build-up to the 2015 general elections in which President Muhammadu Buhari defeated then-incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan.

According to the prosecution team, Iwu, between December 2014 and March 27, 2015, aided the concealment of N1.23 billion in the account of Bioresources Institute of Nigeria Limited with number 1018603119, domiciled in the United Bank for Africa.

The anti-graft agency also alleged that the former INEC chairman ought to have reasonably been aware that the N1.23 billion was part of the proceeds connected to fraud.

Rotimi Oyedepo, prosecution lawyer for the EFCC told the court that Iwu acted contrary to sections 18(a) and 15 (2) (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 and was liable to be punished under Section 15(3) of the same Act.

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But the defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Justice Oweibo permitted him to continue on the N1 billion bail earlier granted him by Justice Obiozor and adjourned the matter till November 25, 2019, for the commencement of trial.

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