13th April, 2018
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Gombe zonal office on Thursday April 12, 2018 arraigned the trio of Honourable Mark Bako Useni, Hassan A Abubakar and John Danjuma Ali before Justice Filibus Bitrus Andetur of the Taraba State High Court, Jalingo on a 4-count charge bordering on criminal conspiracy to procure benefit for public officers and corrupt receipt of monetary benefits.
While Bako is a former Speaker Taraba State House of Assembly and serving member representing Takum constituency in the State Assembly, Hassan A Abubakar and John Danjuma were Head of Administration and retired staff respectively of the Independent National Electoral Commission, in Taraba State.
Mark allegedly 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 charge 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”.
All the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge
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. The decision of the Judge was hinged on the fact that the EFCC had granted them administrative bail during investigation.