Money Laundering: EFCC to arraign Buhari’s Minister today

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission will today arraign former Energy Minister, Saleh Mamman, before the Federal High Court in Abuja.

Osun Defender reports that Mamman, who was a minister under former President Muhammadu Buhari from 2019 to 2021, was sacked by Buhari alongside the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, in September 2021 and was arrested by EFCC operatives in May 2023.

It was gathered that he would be arraigned before Justice James Omotoso today on 12 counts of money laundering offences to the tune of N33 billion.

According to the indictment, the former Energy Minister was accused of conspiring with other officials of his ministry and some private companies to indirectly convert N33.8 billion of funds released for the Mambilla and Zungeru hydroelectric power projects by the Federal Government.

The EFCC said the offence was contrary to sections 18(a), 15(2)(b) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 (as amended) and punishable under section 15(3) of the same Act.

It read: “That you, Saleh Mamman (male), in 2019, at Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this court, while you were the Minister of Power, did conspire with other officials of your ministry and some private companies to indirectly convert the total sum of N=33,804,830,503.73 through various private companies, which sums you ought reasonably to have known were proceeds of unlawful activity, namely: criminal breach of trust in respect of funds released for the Mambilla and Zungeru Hydroelectric Power Projects by the Federal Government of Nigeria.”

In the second charge, Mamman allegedly conspired with one Samson Bitrus to make a cash payment of $655,700 to Mohiba Investment Limited without going through the bank.

It read: “That you, Saleh Mamman (male), in December 2019, at Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this court, conspired with Samson Bitrus to make a cash payment of US$655,700.00 to Mohiba Investment Ltd. (acting through Mohammed Asheik Jidda), without going through a financial institution.”

The EFCC said the offence was contrary to sections 1 and 18(a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 (as amended) and punishable under section 16(2)(b) of the same Act.