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Alleged N450m Fraud: Part Of Fund Purportedly Received From Former Petroleum Minister, Alison-Madueke Shared To Police, Army, DSS, Others – BELGORE

By Francis Iwuchukwu, Lagos 

Justice Rilwan Aikawa of a Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos State, Nigeria was on Wednesday  informed by the Kwara State Coordinator of the People's Democratic Party, PDP, Campaign Organisation, and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Dele Belgore, that part of a sum to the tune of N450 million allegedly received from the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison Madueke, during the 2015 General Election, was shared to the Police, Army, Department of State Security (DSS) and others.

It would be recalled that Belgore alongside Professor Abubakar Sulaiman, a former Minister of National Planning, are standing trial before the court over allegation of fraud in the sum of N450.

They are being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a nine-count charge that has to do with the alleged offence.

But they pleaded not guilty to the charge and were accordingly granted bail.

During proceedings on the trial yesterday, Belgore, whilst being cross-examined by the prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, denied singlehandedly taking decision on how to share the N450 million, but that the decision was taken by all members of the organisation at a meeting held in the house of another party chieftain named Sheriff Shagayi.

However, Belgore admitted how the N450 million was shared upon being confronted with his statements which had been tendered and admitted as 'Exhibit 5'.

The SAN equally admitted that two persons were nominated from the three senatorial district in the State, to receive their portion of the money on behalf of the senatorial district.

Revealing how the money was shared, Belgore admitted that the sums of N87.963 million and N61.656 million were received by Mrs. Shola Adeoti and Isah Biu for Kwara South and Kwara North Senatorial districts respectively, while the sum of N102.298 million was allocated to Kwara Central Senatorial District.

According to the SAN, the sums of N10 million, N1 million, N2 million, N1 million and N1 million, were given to the State's CP, resident AIG, DCP Operations, ACP operations and ACP administration respectively.

Belgore equally admitted that the sums of N7 million, N10 million and N2.5 million were given to MOPOL O/C, 2i/c MOPOL Unit Commander and Director of DSS and men respectively.

He went further to admit that the sums of N50 million and N20 million were given to the Military and other security agencies such as FRSC and men of Civil Defence Corps.

Belgore equally admitted that the sums of N100 million was allocated for the party's general expenses, such as interest on bank loan, while N80 million was allocated to the office of the Coordinator, which he admitted thet the disbursement was on his instruction.

The SAN informed Justice Aikawa that out of N80 million allocated to his office, N50 million was given to Sherrif Shagaya, whom he said was a candidate in the election and a stakeholder who has great interest to apply funds for various electoral purposes. 

On being questioned as to how the N30 million balance was disbursed by his Personal Assistant, Belgore told the court that he cannot remembered how the money was expended, except those who collected the money comes and claim that they collected the money.

Trial in the matter has been adjourned until July 2, 2019.

The anti-graft agency in its nine count charge against the defendants alleged that Allison-Madueke, (said to be at large) conspired with Belgore and Sulaiman on or about March 27, 2015, to directly take possession of the sum of N450 million, which they reasonably ought to have known forms part of proceeds of unlawful act.

They were also alleged to have taken the said funds in cash, which exceeded the amount authorised by law, without going through the financial institutions.

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