A former Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Administrative Secretary Mr Christian Nwosu was on Wednesday re-arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for allegedly accepting gratification during the build-up of the 2015 general elections.
Nwosu was charged alongside Tijani Bashir, as well as former Minister of Petroleum Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke who is still at large and Yisa Adedoyin, who was earlier convicted after pleaded guilty.
According to the anti-graft agency, the defendants allegedly conspired to directly take possession of N264,880.000 which they reasonably ought to have known forms part of an unlawful act, which is gratification.
They were also accused of allegedly making cash payments of N70,050,000 to Yisa Adedoyin, which exceeded the amount authorised by law without going through a financial institution.
At Wednesday’s proceedings, the Prosecuting Counsel Rotimi Oyedepo said he would not call any further witness despite the amended charge.
Before the re-arraignment, Nwosu’s lawyer had opposed the move on the basis that it would further delay the case.
He argued that the amendment would defeat the object of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015 which provides for speedy dispensation of cases.
But, Oyedepo argued that the law allows the prosecution to amend a charge at any time before judgment is delivered.
Ruling, Justice Mohammed Idris held that EFCC was at liberty to amend its charge at any time before judgement.
“The law says ‘anytime before judgment’. It does not specify the time. I accept the amended charge,” the judge ruled.
After the re-arraignment, he allowed the defendants to remain on bail earlier granted them.
The judge thereafter adjourned until March 29 for the adoption of written addresses and to listen to the no-case submission.
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