From Umar Dankano, Yola.
Yola High Court 2 has directed the Inspector General of Police, IGP and the International Police, Interpol, to arrest former Minister of Petroleum, Mrs Diezani Allison Madueke for prosecution over the N362 million she allegedly sent to two INEC staff to compromise the 2015 presidential election in Adamawa State.
Presiding judge of the court, Justice Nathan Musa issued the order in Yola yesterday while passing judgement on the suit filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC against the former minister and two INEC staff accused of conspiracy and corrupt practices to induce voters financially.
The EFCC, had brought the case against Ibrahim Mohammed Umar, Sahabo Iya Hamman both staff of (INEC) as well as the former Minister of Petroleum for conspiring to defraud the federal government with the intent to compromise the 2015 general election.
Justice Musa said the first and second defendants together with Mrs Diezani Allison Madueke are being charged for the offence under corrupt practices and other related offences Act 2000.
Justice Musa said the facts before the court revealed that the money (N362 million) belongs to Federal Government noting that the first and second defendants agreed that they went to Fidelity Bank Yola to collect the money which was unlawful, illicit and corrupt money.
“That the adhoc INEC staff that collected the money later knew that it was illegal money and were asked to refund to EFCC Gombe office which they complied.
“Under count two, the court has proven that the first and second defendants collected the money to their benefits which was sent by the third defendant ( Mrs Madueke) who is at large illegally to INEC staff to compromise election.
Similarly the prosecution counsel,Barristar Abdulhamid Mustapha Labaran told the court the two convicts collected the N362 million from Fidelity Bank Yola meant for distribution to INEC staff which was taken to the house of the second defendant at Jambutu quarters with his private car.
Justice Musa noted that the court delivered the verdict after due diligence established conspiracy between the threesome, as such he convicted and sentenced the two INEC staff to 7 years jail term each on the three count charges brought against them by EFCC but said since they are first term offenders the charges will run concurrently.
“The offence has a mandatory provision. I’m constraints by the law. They shall be sentenced to 7 years imprisonment without option of fine.
“ However in view of plea to temper justice with mercy I will not allow the sentence to run concurrently,” he said.
Barristar Labaran commended the judiciary for the landmark judgment saying it is a breakthrough in the fight against corruption as the counsel to the convicts,Barristar Yakubu Ahmadu pleaded for leniency to his clients as first offenders and bread winners to their expanded families.