Honourable Mark Bako Useni was today April 12th arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Gombe zonal office alongside 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.
Bako was the former Speaker Taraba State House of Assembly and presently a serving member representing Takum constituency in the State Assembly, while 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 Governotorial 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), sometimes 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.