Jonathan’s Minister begs court to recover N650m from EFCC

Former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Jumoke Akinjide, has urged the court to compel the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to return to her a sum of N650m.

According to her, the anti-graft agency took the money from her under by force.

The EFCC is prosecuting Akinjide for an alleged fraud of N650m before the Federal High Court in Lagos.

The anti-graft agency alleged that she collected N650m from a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, in the build-up to the 2015 general elections.

However, in a fresh application by her lawyer, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN), Akinjide said she had already been coerced by the EFCC to return the N650m.

Against that background, she prayed the court to quash the charges against her for being an abuse of court processes.

She went further to aver that no prima facie case of fraud was established against her in the proof of evidence filed before the court by the EFCC.

Akinjide said contrary to the claim by the EFCC that N650m collected from her were part of Diezani’s alleged loot, the money was actually from the fundraiser organised by the Peoples Democratic Party to fund the re-election campaign of then President Goodluck Jonathan and Vice-President Namadi Sambo.

She argued that the EFCC was aware that such fundraising was legal and normal under the Electoral Act 2010; and that the All Progressives Congress also conducted a similar fundraiser and realised N50bn, which it used to fund the campaign of its presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, and his running mate, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.

Akinjide said she handled the N650m in her capacity as the Oyo State coordinator of the Goodluck/Sambo presidential election campaign.

Therefore, the anti-graft agency should be compelled by the Court to refund the money to her.

Akinjide also prayed the court to acquit and discharge her of the fraud charges filed against her by the EFCC.