Corruption and Underdevelopment

Defendant voluntarily gave statement in Malabu scam, EFCC official says

By Paul Michael, Defence Editor, Abuja

An investigator with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Ahmed, has said the 2nd defendant, Aliyu Abubakar, in the trial of former Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Mohammed Adoke, did not make statement to the agency under duress but voluntarily.

Abubakar, a businessman, had alleged that statements made in the course of his investigation by the EFCC, were made under duress, adding that he was also induced to implicate others. Following the development, the court to ordered a trial-within-trial.

Ahmed, who was the 1st prosecution witness (PW1) in the trial-within-trial of the money laundering charge preferred against the duo by the anti-graft agency, told Justice Inyang Ekwo on Monday that the allegation by Abubakar was untrue.

Also, while being led in evidence by counsel to the EFCC, Ofem Uket, the witness who is a CSP seconded to the anti-graft agency, also denied the allegation that Abubakar was induced to make the statements.

“There was no inducement my lord. The 2nd defendant (Abubakar) was not forced to make any statement and he was not detained. He did it voluntarily and was not threatened,” Uket told the court.

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During a cross examination by lawyer to Abubakar, Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, the witness said though he could not tell how long the interview with the 2nd defendant lasted, the timing was in the record made.

Ahmed said Abubakar made two statements out of the six the commission sought to tender in evidence, in his own handwriting.

He said the defendant also brought lawyers who he said he trusted to write some for him and he (Abubakar) attested to the statements.

The witness also acknowledged that two of the statements were written by one Bashir, a police officer seconded to the EFCC on Abubakar’s behalfand that the defendant undertook that he gave him the go-ahead to do so.

Ahmed said Bashir took the recording during the investigation. Justice Ekwo adjourned the matter until tomorrow for the continuation of the trial-within-trial.

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