A former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory(FCT), Jumoke Akinjide, has urged a Fedral High Court sitting in Lagos to compel the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) to return a sum of N650 million to her , which she claimed the anti-graft agency took from her under coercion.
The Commission is prosecuting Akinjide for an alleged fraud of N650m before the court in Lagos.
The anti-graft agency alleged that she collected N650 million from a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke during the build-up to the 2015 general elections.
But in a fresh application by her lawyer, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN), Akinjide said she had already been coerced by the EFCC to return the N650 million.
She prayed the court to quash the charges against her for being an abuse of court processes.
According to her, no prima facie case of fraud was established against her in the proof of evidence filed before the court by the EFCC.
The former FCT minister said contrary to the claim by the EFCC that she collected N650m from Diezani, the money was actually from the fundraiser organised by the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) to fund the re-election campaign of former President Goodluck Jonathan and Vice-President Namadi Sambo.
She argued that the EFCC was aware that such fundraising was legal and normal under the Electoral Act 2010 and that the All Progressives Congress(APC) also conducted a similar fundraiser and raised N50 billion, which it used to fund the campaign of its presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, and his running mate, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.
Akinjide said while the PDP members were being “harassed, charged or prosecuted” over the money realised from its fundraiser, “none of the members or candidates of the APC was charged from the conclusion of the 2015 general elections till date on the basis of the N50 billion fundraising.”
The PDP stalwart claimed that she handled the N650 million in her capacity as the Oyo State coordinator of the Goodluck/Sambo presidential election campaign, adding that “the money was distributed to various groups and sub-coordinators of the PDP in Oyo State as directed by the party in order that the funds might be further distributed to party agents and other workers in the campaign organisation.”
Akinjide prayed the court to acquit and discharge her of the fraud charges filed against her by the commission.