N700m Diezani cash: EFCC re-arraigns Yero, others

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Monday re-arraigned a former governor of Kaduna state, Mukhtar Ramalan Yero before Justice R.M Aikawa of the Federal High Court sitting in Kaduna on an eight count amended charges bordering on money laundering. The re- arraignment is sequel to the transfer of the former trial judge, Justice M.G Umar, from the state.

Yero is being prosecuted by the EFCC alongside Nuhu Somo Wya (a former minister), Ishaq Hamsa (a former Secretary to Kaduna State Government) and Abubakar Gaiya Haruna (a former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state) for their alleged involvement in the receipt and disbursement of the sum of N700 million paid to them by a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke to influence the outcome of the 2015 presidential election.

At today’s sitting, the prosecution counsel, Nasiru Salele, told the court that the case was for re-arraignment of the defendants and urged the court to ask them to take their pleas.

The charges were read to the defendants and they all pleaded ‘not guilty’.

Following their pleas, the defence counsel, Yunus Ustaz Usman urged the court to extend to the defendants, the terms of the bail earlier granted them by the former judge.

The prosecution counsel, Nasiru Salele, appearing with M.E Eimonye and P.C Onyeneho, did not object to the application.

Justice Umar granted bail to the defendants on the same terms earlier offered them by the court.

The case was adjourned till 16th, 17th and 18th January, 2023, for trial.