Former Administrative Secretary of with the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, Mr. Christian Nwosu,told a Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday that he received and signed for the sum of N264.8m at a branch of Fidelity Bank in the build-up to the 2015 general elections.
Justice Idris had held that by virtue of Section 16(2)(b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, under which Nwosu was charged, he was supposed to pay a fine of N10m or go to jail for two years.
Nwosu later abandoned the plea bargain after Justice Idris rejected the N500,000 fine proposed for him as punishment by the EFCC.
Christian Nwosu said that,though he received N30m out of the N264.8m was not bribed by former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke to rig the 2015 general elections for the PDP rather it was for for “logistics”.
The anti-graft agency claimed the N264.8m was part of the sum of $115.01m, which Diezani allegedly stashed away in the bank for conversion and onward disbursement to several individuals across the 36 states of the federation.
Speaking under cross-examination by the EFCC prosecutor, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, Nwosu claimed he did not personally benefit from the money.
“I did not personally benefit from the N30 million; the ad hoc staff benefited because the elections went smoothly with the logistics support”
“The money was for logistics, adding that he acted under the instructions of one Mr. Togba, who directed him over the telephone to visit the bank to collect the money.
Asked whether he received the money in cash or cheque, the defendant said, “The money was not given to me by way of cheque. We were asked to go to the bank to collect the money. No cheque was given to me at the bank. I just signed a document at the bank, which confirmed the receipt of the money.
“I did not instruct the bank to transfer the money to any account because it was not for me but for the coordinator who is to ensure that the money gets to the ad hoc staff.”
Nwosu said the N30m he got for the settlement of the ad hoc staff logistics was paid in two tranches into his bank accounts. N13 million and N17 million was paid into his accounts on April 7 and April 13, 2015 respectively.
The Judge adjourned the trial until November 15.