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HomeBusiness & EconomyDiezani Bribe: Ex-Minister Ochekpe, Two Others To Spend 6 Years In Prison...

Diezani Bribe: Ex-Minister Ochekpe, Two Others To Spend 6 Years In Prison Over N450m

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The Federal High Court in Jos, Plateau State has on Tuesday, February 22, sentenced former Minister of Water Resources, Sarah Ochekpe and two other convicts to six years imprisonment.

Ochekpe, was the Minister of Water Resources in the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan was convicted along with, Evan Leo Sunday Jitong and Raymond Dabo, Deputy Director for Goodluck/Sambo 2015 election campaign and former Acting Chairman of PDP, Plateau State respectively.

The trio were convicted and sentenced to six years imprisonment each by Justice H. M. Kurya of the Federal High Court, Jos, on amended charges bordering on conspiracy and money laundering.

They were alleged to have received the sum of N450million from Fidelity Bank Plc through cash and wire transfer by some oil companies and former Petroleum Resources Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, to influence the outcome of the 2015 presidential election.

It is gathered that on 26th March 2015, the sum of N450million was withdrawn from the  Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, by Fidelity Bank Plc, Jos main branch and it was handed over to the defendants in cash after they signed for collection.

Though the defendants claimed that they handed over the money to late Senator Gyang Pwajok, the Plateau State PDP Governorship candidate in 2015, they however, failed to provide any evidence to support the claim.

On count one, the defendants were convicted over conspiracy to accept cash payment above threshold under the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2012 (as amended) and accordingly sentenced to three (3) years imprisonment with an option of N2,000,000.00 (Two Million Naira) fine each.

While on count two, the defendants were convicted and sentenced to three (3) years imprisonment with an option of N2, 000,000 (Two Million Naira) fine each. The sentences are to run consecutively.

Diezani Alison Madueke, the former Minister of Petroleum Resources in the same administration of Jonathan was accused of, among other charges, unlawfully taking into her possession $39.7 million and N3.32 billion.

Since Mrs. Madueke’s exit from office in 2015, her name has featured in a series of investigations of corruption allegations directly against her or her associates.

Many assets linked to her have also been forfeited to the federal government through the orders of the court.



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