Prof. Maurice Iwu, the former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has revealed that his trial with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) started during the February 23 Presidential Election.
According to the former INEC boss, the EFCC prevented him from exercising his civic duty on the day of the presidential election, adding that the anti-graft also seized his passport.
He further revealed that the charges against him by the EFCC has nothing to do with his tenure as the Chairman of INEC.
“It is noteworthy that none of the charges against me has to do with my tenure as Chairman of INEC,” he said.
He was recently granted N1billion bail by Justice Chuka Obiozor of the Federal High Court Lagos after spending a week at the Ikoyi Prison in Lagos.
Iwu was arraigned on August 8 on four counts in which he allegedly laundered N1.23billion during the build-up of the 2015 general elections.
The EFCC alleges that between December 2014 and March 27, 2015, he aided the concealment of N1.23bn in the account of Bioresources Institute of Nigeria Limited with number 1018603119, domiciled in the United Bank for Africa.
According to the EFCC, the former INEC boss should have known that the proceeds where part of unlawful act.
Read below, Prof. Iwu’s statement below;
“The journey I have found myself on began brewing on February 23, 2019 when I was deprived of my civic duty of voting in the presidential election as a result of the EFCC investigations. From the seizure of my international passport that February till this recent ordeal with actual charges and detention, God’s goodness has remained manifest as I recite Te Deum in thanksgiving.
“I want to thank Nigerians both at home and in the diaspora for their enormous show of concern, support and the spiritual discipline (for not crucifying me before my day in the court of law). My gratitude goes to Ndi Igbo, umu Imo, Okigwe indigenes (both at home and abroad), and clerics from various denominations, especially of the Catholic faith, which I belong to. The support was not just in words of encouragement but more in actions of prayers; for in it all, the glory of God was made manifest. Though I ask the same question Ps. 4:2a stated, “How long, oh men will you turn my glory into shame?’
“Whenever persecution comes my way, I become more aware that God does not forsake His own indeed, and I’m encouraged by Ps. 34:19 ‘Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all’.”
“For despite the challenges, I bow in honour and humility the grace God has offered and continued to afford me and my family.
“More than ever before, with what I have passed through within the last months, I embrace the ever-reassuring grace and presence of the Holy Spirit, which affords my soul to appreciate the professionalism and dignity of many of the staff and persons at the EFCC detention centre, judiciary and the Ikoyi prisons. It could only be God.”
“It is noteworthy that none of the charges against me has to do with my tenure as Chairman of INEC. And to the scientific community, please be assured that this would not negatively affect the several ongoing work by Bioresources Institute of Nigeria (BION) in contributing to the discovery and development of phytomedicines for tropical and emergent diseases, and the use of our world-class research facility for the standardisation of African Medicinal Plants,” he said.
Ibrahim Kenneth Suleiman is the Chief Political Editor at Naija Buzz News Network. He is a graduate of political science from the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Kaduna State. He specializes in preparing/approving of political news contents before publication. He currently heads Naija Buzz News team of political correspondents. From Nasarawa State, North-Central Nigeria, Ibrahim is a strong supporter of Manchester United Football Club England.