Monday, December 6, 2021

How Shehu Sani hurriedly returned $25,000 to ‘victim’, witness tells court

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Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. With nearly a decade-long, active journalism practice, Mr Ramalan has been able to rise from a cub reporter to the exalted position of an editor; first as Arts Editor with the Blueprint Newspapers before resigning in 2019; second and presently as an Associate Editor of the Daily Nigerian online newspaper. He can be reached via [email protected], or www.facebook.com/ibrahim.ramalana, or @McRamalan on Twitter.
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A witness of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Bako Aliyu, has provided more details on how Senator Shehu Sani allegedly extorted the sum of $25,000 USD from the Chairman, ASD Motors, Sani Dauda.

DAILY NIGERIAN reports that the EFCC had arraigned Mr Sani before Justice I.E Ekwo of the Federal High Court Abuja on two-count criminal charges bordering on name-dropping, influence-peddling and obtaining the sum of $25,000 USD by false pretence.

The EFCC alleged that the Senator had obtained the said sum on the pretext that he would use it to bribe the then Acting Chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, to shield the complainant from EFCC’s investigation and prosecution.

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At the resumed trial on Monday, Mr Aliyu who is the tenth prosecution witness, PW10, recalled his previous testimony of how the defendant took advantage of Mr Duada, following the issues he had with the Nigerian police, to extort him of $25,000USD.

The witness recalled that Mr Sani claimed he was going to offer the money as bribe to the Chief Justice of the Federation, then EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu and some operatives of the Commission.

He said the Chief Justice and the former EFCC Chairman denied receiving any bribe from Mr Sani, with the Chief Justice publishing his denial in two national dailies.

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“There was evidence of a request of money from the defendant, asking the complainant for money to bribe the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Ibrahim Magu and some EFCC staff,” he said.

Upon learning that the matter was before the Commission, the witness said the defendant hurriedly returned the money to the complainant, begging him to change the statement he had volunteered to the EFCC.

Mr Aliyu also faulted Mr Sani’s claim that the $25,000USD he gave ASD was part payment for the purchase of a brand new Peugeot 508 saloon car.

“My lord our investigation shows ASD does not transact any business in Dollars. Moreover, the managing director of ASD motors is the one responsible for sales of vehicles, not the Chairman,“ he said.

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DAILY NIGERIAN  reports that today’s trial was initially slated to review the audio evidence which captured Senator Sani’s voice, allegedly extorting $25,000USD from Mr Dauda.

However, due to systems glitch, the interpreted English version of the conversation could not be played, prompting the judge to ask PW10 Bako Aliyu, an investigator with the EFCC, to continue giving evidence on his involvement on the case.

Justice Ekwo thereafter adjourned the matter to March 16, 2021 for continuation of trial and cross-examination of PW10.

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