The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday arraigned a former Minister of State for Power, Mohammed Wakil, and four others for an alleged fraud of N341m.
The defendants were arraigned on seven counts before the Federal High Court in Maiduguri.
Those arraigned alongside Wakil were Garba Abacha, Ibrahim Shehu Birma, Dr Abubakar Ali Kullima and Muhammad Kachalla.
The EFCC accused them of receiving N341m cash from a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, in the build-up to the 2015 general elections.
The anti-graft agency claimed that they handled the money without going through any financial institution.
One of the charges read, “That you, Hon. Muhammad Wakil, Garba Abacha, Ibrahim Shehu Birma, Dr Abubakar Ali Kullima and Muhammad Baba Kachalla, on or about the 26th day of March 2015, in Maiduguri, Borno State, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did agree among yourselves to do an illegal act, to wit: conspiracy to commit money laundering and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended).”
The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the seven counts read to them before Justice M.T. Salihu.
The prosecuting counsel for the EFCC, H. A. Shehu, applied for a trial date and urged the court to order that the defendants should be remanded in the prison custody.
The defence counsel, M. Umoru, however, urged the court to rather order that they should be remanded in the custody of the EFCC.
Justice Salihu, while adjourning the case till July 3, 2018, ordered that the defendants should be remanded in the custody of the EFCC.