March 11, (THEWILL) – A Federal High Court sitting in Bauchi has sentenced two chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, Saleh Hussaini Gamawa and Aminu Umar Gadiya, to two years imprisonment for offences bordering on conspiracy and money laundering to the tune of N142.4 million.
Justice Hassan Dikko convicted the PDP chieftains on March 2, 2023, while ruling on a two-count charge preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
A statement issued on Saturday, by the Head, Media and Publicity of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Wilson Uwujaren, said the defendants were first arraigned on June 4, 2018, and re-arraigned on October 16, 2018, on a two count charge for allegedly receiving over N142 million to influence the outcome of the 2015 presidential election in Bauchi State.
Count one of the charges read, “That you, Saleh Gamawa and Aminu Gadiya, all members of the Finance and Funds Disbursement Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party 2015 General Elections, and in such capacities, sometimes in March 2015, in Bauchi State, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did agree amongst yourselves to commit an offence, to wit; Conspiracy to accept cash payment exceeding the threshold provided by law, thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(a) and punishable under Section 16(2) (b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2012 (as amended) now No.1, 2012.”
Count two read, “That you, Sale Gamawa and Aminu Gadiya, all members of the Finance and Funds Disbursement Committee of the peoples ‘Democratic Party 2015 General Elections, and in such capacities, sometime in March 2015, in Bauchi State, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did accept cash payment of N142,460,000 million from the Directorate of Finance, Bauchi State PDP Campaign Organisation, exceeding the required threshold of cash payment, thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1, 16(1)(d) and punishable under Section 16(2)(b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) now No.1, 2012”.
Uwujaren, however, added that the defendants had pleaded not guilty to the charges, setting the stage for the case to proceed to full trial.
“In the course of the trial, the prosecution presented one witness and tendered documents marked as Exhibits A1, A2 and A3. Both defendants testified in their respective defences.
“At the close of evidence, the final written addresses were filed, exchanged and adopted on January 17, 2023, with the prosecution asking the court to convict the defendants as charged.
“The defence, on the other hand, submitted that the evidence presented against the defendant by the prosecution was not credible and urged the court to discharge and acquit the defendants. Justice Dikko then reserved judgement for March 2, 2023.
“In the well-considered judgement that lasted more than three hours, Justice Dikko reviewed the facts of the case and the submissions of counsel and arrived at the conclusion that the prosecution proved the cases against the defendants beyond reasonable doubt on count one and convicted them as charged. He, however, discharged and acquitted the second defendant on count two,” Uwujaren said.
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