Nigeria: Chinese in custody over N100m Bribe

Mr Meng Wei Kun and Xu Kuoi and The N50 million

Sokoto State High Court presided over by Justice Sa’adu Sifawa on Friday ordered two Chinese to be remanded in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for allegedly attempting to bribe an EFCC officer with N50 million.

The N50 million which is in the custody of the EFCC is said to be the first tranche of the alleged N100 million bribe offered the agency official. Mr Meng Wei Kun and Xu Kuoi were arraigned on a two-count charge bordering on conspiracy and offering bride to the commission’s zonal head. EFCC alleged the defendants offered bribe to it zonal head Abdullahi Lawal to compromise the ongoing investigation into he case against the defendants’ company Zhonghao Nigeria limited.

The bribe was allegedly offered in a desperate bid to compromise ongoing investigations of their construction company, China Zhonghao Nig. Ltd, handling N50 billion contracts awarded by the Zamfara State Government between 2012 to 2019. The charge against the duo read: “That you Mr. Meng Wei Kun and Xu Kuoi some times in May 2020 at Kasarawa area, Airport Road Sokoto within the jurisdiction of the High Court of Justice Sokoto State agreed to do illegal act wit; Bribery and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 59 of the Sokoto State Penal Code Law 2019 and punishable under section 60 (2) of same law.”

The accused pleaded not guilty when the charge was read to them. The prosecuting counsel, Musa Mela Gwani, who appeared with Habila Jonathan, asked for a date to commence trial and prayed the court for accelerated hearing. However, counsel to the defendants AA Usman told the court that he had filed bail application and urged the court to grant his prayers. Gwani acknowledged the receipt of the application but asked the court to give him time to respond to it. Justice Sifawa adjourned the matter to May 18 for the hearing of bail application and June 15 for trial. The judge ordered the defendants to be remanded in EFCC custody pending the determination of their bail application. (Thisday)

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