The prosecution wrapped up its case in front of Justice K. Dagat at the Federal High Court in Maiduguri, Borno State.
By Helen Akpewve:
On June 14, 2023, the Maiduguri Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) concluded its presentation of evidence against Mohammed Wakil, a former Minister of Power, and four others. The prosecution wrapped up its case in front of Justice K. Dagat at the Federal High Court in Maiduguri, Borno State. Throughout the proceedings, three witnesses were called upon.
Wakil, along with Garba Abatcha, Ibrahim Shehu Birma, Dr. Abubakar Ali Kullima, and Engr. Muhammad Baba Kachalla, were re-arraigned on seven charges, accusing them of engaging in a criminal conspiracy to commit money laundering amounting to N450,000,000.00 (Four Hundred and Fifty Million Naira). It is alleged that they received this sum from a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, as part of the $115 million disbursed to influence the outcome of the 2015 presidential election.
Count one of the charges read: “That you, Hon. Muhammad Wakil, Garba Abatcha, Ibrahim Shehu Birma, Dr. Abubakar Ali Kullima and Engr. Muhammad Baba Kachalla on or about the 26th day of March 2015 at Maiduguri, Borno State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did agree amongst yourselves to do an illegal act, to wit: conspiracy to commit money laundering and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2022 (as amended).”
They pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.
Prior to the conclusion of the case today, the prosecution counsel, Mukhtar Ali Ahmed, presented several documents as evidence, accompanied by S.O Saka, Faruku Muhammad, A.D Aliyu, V.O Ekanem, and A. A Ayanshola. These documents included the defendants’ statements, proof of payment received by the three Senatorial districts, a draft issued by the first defendant, and a response letter from Fidelity Bank outlining the means of identification of the first and second defendants. These documents were accepted and admitted as exhibits in the proceedings.