Two officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, a Deputy Director Auwal Jibrin and one other staff of the commission, Garba Ismaila have been sentenced to 7 years and 6 years imprisonment respectively without an option of fine.
The two public servants were sentenced on Friday by Justice Yusuf Birnin-Kudu of the Jigawa State High Court sitting in Gumel for collecting N45million bribe to influence the 2015 presidential election in Jigawa State.
The bribe according to the counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mohammed Gambo was given to the duo from the $115,010,000 largesse of a former Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke, in the build-up to the 2015 presidential election.
Investigations by the EFCC revealed that both Auwal and Garba benefitted the sum of N45,000,000 out of the N250,000,000 disbursed in Jigawa State to influence the outcome of the election.
Upon arraignment, they pleaded “not guilty” to the charges thereby setting the stage for full trial.
During the course of trial, the prosecution presented five witnesses and tendered 20 exhibits to prove the case against them.
One of the charges reads: “That you, Auwal Jibrin, while being a public Servant (Deputy Director with Independent National Electoral Commission, Dutse) sometime in 2015, at Dutse within the Judicial Division of this Honourable court dishonestly received the sum of ₦45,000,000 (Forty Five Million Naira) from Garba Ismail, which you were not authorized to receive and you thereby committed an offence punishable under section 122 of the Penal Code.”
Delivering judgement, Justice Birnin-Kudu held that: “The prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubt, all the elements and facts of the case as contained in the charge and the testimonies of prosecution witnesses and exhibits tendered.”
The Judge added that the defence team failed to counter the evidence presented by the prosecution through its witnesses.
Thus, the court found the first defendant guilty as charged on count two, while the second defendant was found guilty on counts one and three.
The court, however, discharged them on counts four, five and six.
Consequently, counsel for the EFCC, Mohammed Gambo, urged the court to sentence them accordingly.
While Counsel to the two defendants pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy in sentencing the defendants, the trial judge sentenced the first defendant to seven years imprisonment without an option of fine on count one, while the second defendant who was the INEC Deputy Director was sentenced to six years each on counts one and three.
The Judge further ordered the final forfeiture of the recovered monies and property attached to the investigation with the exception of a three-bedroom flat attached at No. 1 Hadeja Road, Birnin kudu, Jigawa State.