The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Tuesday arraigned ex-minister and immediate past deputy governor of Sokoto State, Mukhtar Shagari, alongside four others before the Federal High Court in Sokoto, on alleged five counts bordering on money laundering.
Others arraigned alongside Shagari are former Commissioner of Information, Ibrahim Gidado; younger brother to former Governor Attahiru Bafarawa, Nasiru Bafarawa; Sokoto State PDP chairman, Ibrahim Milgoma and the PDP candidate in the 2015 gubernatorial election, Senator Abdallah Wali.
Their application for bail was, however, objected to by EFCC lead counsel, Barrister Johnson Ojogbane.
Subsequently, Justice Saleh Kogo Idrissa ordered the defendants to be remanded at the Police headquarters until May 24, 2018, when the bail application will be heard.
The defendants who were brought to the court in a bus with armed EFCC personnel, allegedly received the sum of ₦500m from a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison Madueke, to allegedly manipulate and influence 2015 general election.
Three of the five counts read by the court clerk were against Ibrahim Gidado and Mukhtar Shagari, the first and second defendants respectively.
Third and fifth defendants, Nasiru Bafarawa and Senator Abdallah Wali, were arraigned on two counts, while Ibrahim Milgoma was arraigned on one count.
Count one of the charges reads, “You, Ibrahim Gidado, Mukhtar Shagari and Ibrahim Milgoma, sometime in March 2015, within the jurisdiction of this honorable court, did conspire among yourselves to receive cash payment of the sum of ₦500m (five hundred million naira) from one Abdulrahman Ibrahim, without transacting through a financial institution and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 16(2) of the same Act.”
The money was part of the $115m (one hundred and fifteen million dollars) allegedly disbursed by Diezani Alison Madueke to influence the 2015 elections.