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EFCC Threatened Me To Implicate Ex-President Jonathan, Adoke – Witness

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Jonathan defence witness in the trial of former Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Bello Adoke, has told the Federal High Court in Abuja that an operative of the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) threatened him to implicate former President Goodluck Jonathan in the alleged money laundering case filed against him and the former AGF.

The witness, Aliyu Abubakar, who is also a co-defendant in the trial, told the judge, Inyang Ekwo, on Monday that one of the anti-graft agency’s lawyer, Bala Sanga, also threatened him to rope in Mr Adoke.

He said this while being led in evidence by his lawyer, Wole Olanipekun, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.

The anti-graft agency is prosecuting Mr Adoke who was AGF during Mr Jonathan’s presidency between 2010 and 2015 alongside a businessman, Aliyu Abubakar, on a 14-count charge.

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The EFCC alleged, among others, in the charges that Mr Adoke had in August 2013, in Abuja, accepted a cash payment of the dollar equivalent of N300 million from Mr Aliyu, and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 16 (2)(b) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 (as amended).

While Mr Abubakar was also accused of accepting a cash payment of the sum of $4 million from Faman Holdings Limited, through one Abdulhakeem Uthman Mustapha, in September 2013, the prosecution told the court that Mr Adoke, made structured cash payments in tranches into his Unity Bank Plc Account No. 0020153263.

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Tuesday’s trial-within-trial

Aminu Lawal, the second prosecution witness in the trial-within-trial, had on May 10 said Mr Abubakar was neither compelled to make statements nor induced to implicate others in the course of the investigation.

Mr Lawal was one of the investigators who took the defendant’s statements on December 31, 2019 and on January 6, 2020.

But at Tuesday’s proceedings, Mr Abubakar told the judge that the extra-judicial statements he made on December 31, 2019 and on January 6, 2020 were made under duress.

He said upon EFCC’s invitation on December 31, 2019, a former prosecutor in the case, Mr Sanga, threatened to detain him if he declined to make extra-judicial statements to implicate Messrs Jonathan and Adoke.

Mr Abubakar said Mr Sanga introduced himself as the new prosecutor in the case, informing him that there was evidence showing that he (Mr Abubakar) gave the sum of 20 million dollars to Mr Adoke.

In addition, Mr Abubakar told the judge that Mr Sanga informed him that there was another evidence which revealed he (Mr Abubakar) gave the sum of 50 million dollars to Mr Jonathan.

“On the 31st December, 2019, my lawyer, Ahmed Audu, came to me and said one Ibrahim Ahmed from EFCC called him that they needed clarification from me about this case.

“I followed my lawyer to EFCC. When I got there, some of the EFCC’s staff like Ibrahim, Babangida and others came in that I must give a confessional statement.

“They said that things have changed and somebody has to record me (on video), that his name is Bala Sanga.

“He introduced himself as the new prosecutor in this case. He thanked me and said I should continue to cooperate with them and that they will help me if I continue to cooperate with them.

“He then asked me questions. He asked my lawyer to write for me and I said no that I will not make any more statement because I had already made statements which are with them.

“He said if I don’t, they will detain me,” Mr Abubakar said.

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Ojogwu Godwin Chukwudi hailed from Delta State. A young talented personality, Alumnus of Delta State university,Abraka Studied Library and information science. He is an intellectual cyber communicator expert and a prolific blogger professional.

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