Corruption: Nigerian lawmaker detained as ex-minister jumps bail

The House of Representative in Chamber ... members are notorious for budget mutilation
The House of Representative in Chamber ... members are notorious for budget mutilation

A Lagos State Magistrate Court in Igbosere has ordered that the lawmaker representing Edu/Moro/Patigi Constituency of Kwara State at the House of Representatives, Aliyu Pategi, be remanded in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

The court, presided over by Afolashade Botoku, made the order on Friday following an application to that effect by the EFCC.

The EFCC had told the judge that Mr. Pategi stood surety for a former Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory, Jumoke Akinjide, who has a pending criminal charge against her before the Federal High Court in Ibadan.

The EFCC had charged Mrs. Akinjide for allegedly collecting N650 million out of the $115 million allegedly doled out by a former Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, to compromise the 2015 general election.

Mr. Aliyu had, on August 10, 2016, entered a bail bond of N650 million to secure an administrative bail for Mrs. Akinjinde, but the former minister was said to have jumped the bail.

Mrs. Akinjide’s non-appearance had stalled her arraignment in the charge marked FHC/IB/26C/2017 before the Federal High Court in Ibadan with the court threatening to strike out the charge should the EFCC fail to produce her.

On Friday, the EFCC dragged Mr. Aliyu before the magistrate court in Lagos, praying for his remand as Mrs. Akinjide had absconded.

But the court rejected an oral bail application for the lawmaker by his lawyer, Adenrele Adegborioye, who had urged the court to note his client’s status as a serving House of Representatives member.

Counsel for the EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo, told the magistrate that Mr. Aliyu entered a bail bond of N650 million being the sum allegedly collected by Mrs. Akinjide from Mrs. Diezani.

The EFCC, in a 16-paragraph affidavit deposed to by one of its operatives, Danladi Daniel, said “That an intelligent report was received sometime in 2016 that Oloye Jumoke Akinjide and others benefited the total some of N650m from the proceed of gratification received by the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Deizani Alison-Madueke, from various oil marketers such as Northern Belt Oil and Gas Company; Actus Integrated Investment Limited; Midwestern Oil and Gas Company Limited and Adesanya Leno Olaitan which money were kept with Fidelity Bank.”

The EFCC said upon Mrs. Akinjide’s invitation to its office on August 9, 2016, she volunteered a statement, following which she was released on administrative bail entered by Mr. Aliyu on August 10, 2016.

After making the remand order on Friday, the magistrate adjourned further proceedings in the case till June 20, 2017.


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