A former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Akwa Ibom State, Mr Uwemedimo Nwoko has been arrested by operatives of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Uyo.
Nwoko was arrested on Tuesday over his alleged involvement in the N1.4bn money laundering trial against a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, (NBA), Mr Paul Usoro.
Before now, the EFCC had been on the trail of the former Attorney-General over his alleged role in the conversion of N1.4bn property belonging to the Government of Akwa Ibom State.
The EFCC spokesperson, Mr Wilson Uwujaren confirmed Nwoko’s arrest to newsmen on Wednesday.
It would be recalled that Usoro, a former NBA President had been arraigned for alleged money laundering on December 18, 2018 before Justice Muslim Hassan of the Federal High Court in Lagos.
Again, he was re-arraigned on March 1, 2019, on a 10-count charge bordering on laundering money for the Akwa-Ibom State officials to the tune of N1.4bn.
One of the counts against the defendant reads: “That you, Paul Usoro, SAN, Emmanuel Udom (currently constitutionally immune against criminal prosecution), Uwemedimo Thomas Nwoko (still at large), Nsikan Linus Nkan, Commissioner of Finance, Akwa Ibom State (still at large), Mfon Jacobson Udomah, Accountant-General, Akwa Ibom State (still at large) and Margaret Thompson Ukpe (still at large), sometime in 2015 in Nigeria, conspired…to commit an offence, to wit: conversion of N1,410,000,000,000 property of the Government of Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria.”
The EFCC claimed that they reasonably ought to have known the money was “part of the proceeds of an unlawful activity to wit: criminal breach of trust and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.”
However, Usoro has pleaded “not guilty” to the charges, leading to the commencement of
his trial in full.