Electoral Offence: EFCC Docks Kwara Vote Buyer in Ilorin

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Finally, EFCC Docks Kwara Vote Buyer in Ilorin

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on March 21, 2019 arraigned one Abdulkadir Abdulsalam before Justice Sikiru Oyinloye of the Kwara State High Court, Ilorin, on a two-count charge bordering on bribery.

Abdulsalam was arrested on March 9, during the 2019 Governorship and House of Assembly elections in Ilorin, Kwara State, in possession of N120,000, for the purpose of vote buying.

The defendant was alleged to have conspired with on Oye Obalola, now at large, to use the money at the polling unit of 007, College of Education, Ilorin, to corruptly induce voters to vote for his candidate.

He pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.

Prosecuting counsel, Nnaemeka Omewa, told the court that the offence was contrary to Section 124 (5), and 130 (a) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) and punishable under section 130 (b) of the same Act.

Defence counsel, Saka Muhammed, moved an oral application for the bail of his client, arguing that, “an accused person is presumed innocent until he is proven guilty with evidence.”

Justice Oyinloye, however, refused the oral application for bail, noting that the court was a court of records, and adjourned to March 28, 2019 for trial.

Tony Orilade
Ag. Head, Media & Publicity
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N6m Fraud: Court Convicts Man in Absentia

Justice Mohammed Owolabi of the Oyo State High Court, sitting in Iyaganku, Ibadan, on Thursday, March 21, 2019 convicted one Lateef Abayomi Hussein (32) in absentia.

Lateef was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Commission, EFCC, Ibadan zonal office, on August 28, 2017, on a three-court charge of stealing, obtaining under false pretence and issuance of dud cheque.

He was granted bail on arraignment, and was attending the trial sessions before he stopped when the matter was slated for judgement.

At his instance, Justice Owolabi had to shift the judgement day twice, March 15 and March 18, 2019. Yet, the accused refused to show up to listen to the court’s verdict. He was consequently convicted in absentia on Thursday.

Abayomi’s journey to prison started when, sometimes in November 2016, the EFCC received a complaint from Dees Travels and Tours Limited, alleging that the company supplied 33,000 litres of diesel valued at N6,435,000 (Six Million, Four Hundred and Thirty Five Thousand Naira) only to Lateef, who issued a cheque for the payment of the item.

The convict was said to have fraudulently issued a Diamond Bank cheque to the tune of N6, 435,000 (Six Million, Four Hundred and Thirty-Five Thousand Naira Only) to cover the cost of the supply after receiving the product. The complainant further alleged that the cheque was returned unpaid upon presentation at the designated bank for lack of sufficient funds, adding that subsequent efforts to make him pay the money proved abortive.

Equally disappointed by the attitude of his client, counsel to the defendant, Oluwaseun Fadele, told the court that he contacted the convict before the first and second adjournments and that he promised to attend his trial.

The EFCC’s Counsel, Sanusi Galadanchi later prayed the court to proceed with the judgment since Lateef had decided to jump the bail granted him, and the case had been adjourned twice at his instance.

Justice Owolabi found him guilty on the first and second count charge of stealing, contrary to Section 390 (9) of the Criminal Code Act, Cap C38, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004; and obtaining money under false pretence, contrary to Section 1 (2) of the Advanced Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act. He was, however, discharged on third court charge bordering on issuance of dude cheque.

The court also issued a bench warrant against the convict. His sentence has been reserved till when he is arrested or he surrenders himself to the court.

Tony Orilade
Ag. Head, Media & Publicity

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