Two human rights activists have been remanded in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly demanding a bribe from Wahum Nigeria Limited.
The President of the Path of Peace Initiatives, Dandy Eze, and one Solomon Johnson, sometime in 2018, approached Wahum Nigeria Limited to ask for N50m to help facilitate the withdrawal of a petition written against the company, which they claimed was being investigated by the EFCC.
The letter allegedly written by the activists was consequently investigated by the EFCC, which uncovered the bribe requests.
Reports revealed that the sum of N1m had already been collected by the duo as part payment through a First Bank account number 3081329952 operated by Johnson.
The duo were arraigned before a Lagos State Special Offences Court on four counts bordering on conspiracy to commit felony and acceptance of bribe to the tune of N50m.
The charges read in part, “That you, Dandy Eze, being the President of the Path of Peace Initiatives, and Solomon Johnson, on or about November 23, 2018, in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, solicited the sum of N50m only as bribe in order to facilitate the withdrawal of a petition written against Wahum Nigeria Limited from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
“That you, Dandy Eze, being the President of the Path of Peace Initiatives, and Solomon Johnson, on or about November 26, 2018, in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did accept the sum of N1m as bribe through the First Bank account number 3081329952 operated by Solomon Johnson from Wahum Nigeria Limited in order to facilitate the withdrawal of a petition written against Wahum Nigeria Limited from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.”
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges. In view of this, the prosecuting counsel, George Chia-Yakua, asked the court for a trial date and also prayed that the defendants be remanded in prison custody.
The counsel for the defendants, Terry Adeniji, however, told the court that he had just been briefed about the case, asking the court for a short date to enable him to file a proper bail application.
He also prayed the court to remand the defendants in the EFCC custody, which was swiftly countered by Chia-Yakua.
The presiding judge, Justice Mojisola Dada, adjourned the matter till February 14 and 15, 2019, for the hearing of the bail application and commencement of trial. She, thereafter, remanded the suspects in prison custody.