Former Minister of Water Resources Mukhtar Shehu Shagari alongside four others on Tuesday, were arraigned before Justice Idrissa Kolo of the Federal High Court Sokoto on a five count charge of Conspiracy and Money Laundering to the tune of N500,000,000.
The former minister was charged along side with Senator Abdullahi Mohammmed Wali, Ibrahim Gidado, Nasiru Dalhatu Bafarawa and Ibrahim Milgoma.
Trouble started for the defendants after the Commission received intelligence that the accused person received various sums from the $115m allegedly disbursed by a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Deizani Allison Madueke to senior members of the Peoples Democratic Party and officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to influence the outcome of the 2015 presidential elecvtion.
Alledgely the defendant benefitted the sum of N500,000,000 (Five Hundred Million Naira Only) which was not distributed through any financial institution in flagrant violation of provisions of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act.
One of the charge read that “You Mukhtar Shehu Shagari, Ibrahim Gidado and Ibrahim Milgoma sometime in March 2015, within the justification of this honourable court did conspire among yourselves to receive cash payment of the sum of N500,000,000 (Five Hundred Million Naira Only) from one Abdulrahaman Ibrahim without transacting through a financial institution and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 18(a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under section 16(2) of the same Act”.
All the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to them. Prosecution counsel Johnson Ojogbane requested a date for trial in view of the plea of the defendants and also asked that the defendants be remanded in prison custody.