The Chinese men
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Sokoto Zonal office on Friday, May 15, 2020, arraigned the duo of Meng Wei Kun and Xui Kuoi, both Chinese, before Justice Mohammed Sa’idu Sifawa of the State High Court Sokoto on two-count charges of conspiracy and offering a bribe to a public servant to the tune of N100,000,000.00 (One Hundred Million Naira).
The defendants were docked for allegedly offering to bribe the EFCC Sokoto Zonal Head, Mr. Abdullahi Lawal with the sum of one hundred million naira (N100, 000.000.00) on behalf of a construction company, China Zhonghao Nig. Ltd, which is being investigated over handling contracts awarded by the Zamfara State Government to the tune of Fifty Billion Naira (N50, 000,000,000.00) between 2012 to 2019.
The EFCC is investigating the construction company in connection with the execution of contracts for the construction of township roads in Gummi, Bukkuyun, Anka and Nassarawa towns of Zamfara State; and also the construction of 168 (One Hundred And Sixty-eight) solar-powered boreholes in the 14 local government areas of the state.
Count one read: ’That you Mr. Meng Wei Kun and Mr. Xu Kuoi sometimes in May 2020 at Kasarawa area, Airport Road Sokoto, within the jurisdiction of the High Court of Justice Sokoto State agreed to do an illegal act to 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 the same Law’’.
The second count read: ‘’That you Mr. Meng Wei Kun and Mr. Xu Kuoi on the 11th of May 2020 at about 2200 hours at Kasarawa area, Airport Road Sokoto, within the jurisdiction of the High Court of Justice Sokoto State, being staff of China Zhonghao Nigeria Limited, offered a bribe of fifty million naira as inducement to one Abdullahi Lawal a Public Servant (Zonal Head of Operations of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Sokoto Zonal Office) in order to compromise an ongoing investigation involving your company with regard to various contracts award/execution in parts of Zamfara State and thereby committed an offence of offering bribe to a Public servant contrary to Section 83 of the Sokoto State Penal Code Law, 2019 and Punishable under Section 83 (2) of the same Law’’.
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges when read to them.
In view of their pleas, prosecution counsel, Musa Mela Gwani who appeared with Habila Jonathan, asked for a date to commence trial and prayed the court for an accelerated hearing.
However, counsel to the defendants, A. A. Usman, told the court that he had filed an application of bail for his clients and urged the court to grant his prayers.
Justice Sifawa adjourned the matter to May 18, 2020 for bail hearing and June 15, 2020 for commencement of trial.