Alleged N1.2bn Fraud: Court Remands Maurice Iwu In EFCC Custody

Alleged N1.2bn Fraud: Court Remands Maurice Iwu In EFCC Custody
A Federal High Court, Thursday, ordered the remand of the former chairman of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Maurice Mmaduakolam Iwu, in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), till tomorrow, Friday, when his bail application would be heard and decided.
Justice (Professor) Chuka Austiniwe Obiozor, ordered the remand of the former Nigeria’s electoral umpire in EFCC custody, after his plea was taken on four counts money laundering charge made against him.
EFCC had arraigned Iwu before the court on charges bordering on aiding and  concealment of total sum of N1.203 million, which was said to be proceed of unlawful act.
He was alleged to have between December 2015 and March 27, 2015, used his company, Bioresources Institute of Nigeria (BION) Limited, whose account with number 1018603119 domiciled in Untied Bank of Africa (UBA) Plc.
The EFCC also alleged that Professor Iwu and a lawyer, Victor Chukwuani retained the sum of N407 million, said to be proceed of unlawful act, in Bioresources Institute of Nigeria (BION) Limited’s Account No. 1018603119 domiciled in the United Bank for Africa Plc,
The offences according to the prosecution, are contrary to sections  18(a),15(2) (a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15 ( 3) of the same Act”.
Upon the reading of the counts of the charge to the former INEC boss, he pleaded not guilty to all the counts.
Following his not guilty plea, the prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo leading A. A. Buhari and A. O. Muhammed, asked the court for a trial date, while also urged the court to remand the defendant in prison custody, till hearimgnof his bail application.
Responding, Professor Iwu’s lawyer, Ahmed Raji (SAN) leading John Osegi and a. A. Usman, informed the court that he has two applications, one challenging the court jurisdiction and the bail application.
Raji (SAN) however withdrew the application challenging court’s jurisdiction on the ground of his client’s freedom. And urged the court to hear the bail application.
Upon his withdrawal of application challenging court’s jurisdiction, Justice Obiozor, instantly struck out same.
Following the striking of the application challenging court’s jurisdiction, Raji (SAN) informed the court that bail application had been served on the prosecution but yet to be responded to.
He urged the court either to let his client be with the prosecution till tomorrow, Friday, or be release to him, as he undertook to personally produce him in court.
He informed the court that ever since his client had been admitted to administrative bail, he has never defaulted. 
However, the prosecutor, Oyedepo, told the court that the appropriate place to remand a defendant after plea taken is prison. 
In his ruling, Justice (Professor) Obiozor, ordered that the defendant be remanded in EFCC custody till Friday, for hearing of his bail application.


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