April 25, 2017

Justice Abang Remands INEC Staff in Prison for Taking over N100m Bribe

Justice O. Abang of the Federal High Court sitting in Asaba, Delta State has ordered Mrs. Fidelia Omoile, a serving Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) official in Isoko-South area of the state, to be remanded in prison following her arraignment on Monday.

Madam Fidelia was arraigned on a 2-count amended charge, bordering on conspiracy and money laundering by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
She was docked for allegedly collecting the sum of N112,480,000.00 (One Hundred and Twelve Million, Four Hundred and Eighty Thousand Naira), as a bribe during the countdown to the 2015 Presidential election. 

Madam Fidelia was among the over 100 INEC Officials that allegedly collected part of the $115m (N23bn) disbursed by a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.

Madam Fidelia 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 NGOs, in defrauding the Federal Government huge sums of money, running into millions of Naira. 

She allegedly got N112.4m as bribe during the 2015 general election.

The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to her.

In view of her plea, prosecution counsel, Sadiq Hussaini, asked for a trial date and sued that the defendant be remanded in custody. However, counsel for the defendant, K.O. Obamogie, made an oral application for bail of his client and urged the court to grant his prayers. 

In his ruling, Justice Abang turned down the defendant' s application for bail, directing that the application be filed formally. He also adjourned the matter to June 6, 2017 for hearing and ordered the defendant to be remanded in prison custody pending the determination of her bail.