The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) has arraigned a former Zamfara State Governor Mahmud Aliyu Shinkafi alongside three others before the Zamfara State High Court on a 5 count charge of money laundering.
Charged alongside Shinkafi are the former Minister of State, Finance, Ambassador Bashir Yuguda, Aminu Ahmed Nahuche and Ibrahim Malaha.
Shinkafi and other defendants allegedly conspired and received a cash payment of N450million, being part of the $115million that was allegedly distributed by a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Allison-Madueke for the purpose of influencing the outcome of the 2015 general election.
All the defendants however pleaded not guilty to all the 5 count charge when it was read to them.
The prosecuting lawyer, Mr Johnson Ojogbane requested the court for a trial date in view of the plea of the defendants.
But the lawyer to the defendants, Mr J. C. Shaka moved a motion for bail asking the court to admit his clients to bail pending the conclusion of the matter.
Subsequently, Ojogbane informed the court that the prosecution had filed counter affidavit praying the court to refuse bail.
Justice Fatima Murtala, after listening to the arguments between the parties, granted Shinkafi and other defendants bail in the sum of N5million each and two sureties in like sum.
One of the sureties, according to the judge must be resident within the jurisdiction of the court while the other must own a landed property within the jurisdiction of the court.
The judge added that the sureties must be public or civil service not below grade level 16. The court also ruled that the defendants should deposit their recent passport photographs and international passports with the registrar.
The case has been adjourned to June 27 and 28, 2018 for the commencement of trial while the defendants are remanded in prison custody pending the perfection of their bail terms.
One of the charge read: “ That you Ambassador Bashir Yuguda, Aminu Ahmed Nahuche and Ibrahim Malaha on or about 27th, March 2018, at Gusau, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court conspired among yourselves to receive cash payment of the sum of N450, 000,000 (Four Hundred and Fifty Million Naira Only) from Odia Akpotune without transacting through a financial institution and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 18(a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act and punishable under 16(2)(b) of the same Act”.