The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had on Thursday arraigned former Speaker of the Taraba State House of Assembly, Mr. Mark Bako Useni, before Justice Filibus Bitrus Andetur of the Taraba State High Court over N267.49m election bribe.
The former speaker, who was arraigned alongside Hassan A Abubakar and John Danjuma Ali, was alleged to have received the sum of N45m for himself and Arc. Darius Ishaku, the then PDP Gubernatorial candidate in the state, while John and Hassan received N267.46m from the $115m Diezani bribe to influence officers working with INEC Taraba State.
Count one of the charges read, “MARK BAKO USENI, being the former speaker and member Taraba State House of Assembly, HASSAN A ABUBAKAR, the Head of Administration at Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and JOHN D. ALI, Retired Public Servant at Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), sometime between March and May, 2015 in Jalingo, within the Jurisdiction of Jalingo Judicial Division of the High Court of Taraba State in such different capacities did engage yourselves in criminal conspiracy to corrupt Public Officers to wit; Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) staff contrary to Section 9 (1) (a) and Punishable under Section 9 (1) (b) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000”.
The former speaker and the two other defendants pladed not guilty to the four counts charge bordering on criminal conspiracy to procure benefit for public officers and corrupt receipt of monetary benefits, slammed against them by EFCC.
In view of their plea, the prosecution counsel Abubakar Aliyu asked for a date to commence trial.
While adjourning the case to 26, 27 and 28 June, 2018 Justice Filibus granted bail to all the accused persons.