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Court re-arraigns Maurice Iwu over N1.23b alleged fraud

By Editor.

The former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Maurice Iwu, was today Thursday, October 24, 2019 re-arraigned before a Federal High Court, Lagos presided by Justice Nicholas Oweibo.

He is facing a four-count charge bordering on fraud to the tune of N1.23billion as alleged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC).

Iwu was first arraigned before another judge of the same court, Justice (Professor) Chuka Obiozor during the court’s long vacation in August this year.

His re-arraignment on Thursday followed the transfer of the case file from Justice Obiozor to Justice Oweibo in a swap arrangement.

At both occasions he pleaded not guilty to the charges.

But the EFCC in the charges alleged that Iwu committed the offence in the build-up to the 2015 general elections in which President Muhammadu Buhari won.

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

The EFCC said Iwu ought to have reasonably known that the N1.23bn formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act of fraud.

The prosecutor Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, told the court that the ex-INEC boss 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.

Justice Oweibo thereafter permitted him to continue to enjoy his N1bn bail earlier granted him by his brother judge, Justice Obiozor, and fixed November 25, 2019 for the commencement of his trial.