A former customs officer, Rasheed Owolabi, has told a Federal Capital Territory High Court how the chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), Danladi Umar, demanded N10million bribe from him to cover up his (Owolabi’s) asset declaration case with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The CCT, presided by Umar, is trying the Senate president, Bukola Saraki, on a 13-count charge of corruption.
During cross examination, the former officer of the Nigerian Customs Service told the court that he gave the sum of N1.8million out of the N10million Umar demanded.
According to him, he lodged the money into a Zenith Bank account – 1002849471 – belonging to Umar’s personal assistant, Ali Abdullahi.
Owolabi insisted that he paid the money following an earlier demand by Umar for him (Mr. Owolabi) to part with the sum of N10million in a bid to influence his case before the tribunal.
Abdullahi is currently facing a two-count charge of providing “inconsistent information” to the EFCC during investigation into a case of false asset declaration by Owolabi.
The first count of the charge said Abdullahi falsely told the EFCC that the amount of N1.8 million, which he collected from Mr. Owolabi was meant to foot the medical bill of his (Mr. Abdullahi’s) father.
“That you Ali Gambo Abdullahi, sometimes in August 2013 at Abuja within the judicial division of the court did make a statement to one Abdulmajeed Ibrahim, a detective with the EFCC, while in the course of the exercise of the duty of his office that the sum of N1.8m paid into your Zenith Bank Account Number 1002849471 on December 12, 2012 by one Rasheed Owolabi was a payment made to assist you to settle your father’s hospital bill; which statement you knew to be untrue and thereby committed an office contrary to section 39(2)(a) of the EFCC Act, 2004 and punishable under section (39) (2) (b) of the same act.
“That you Ali Gambo Abdullahi, sometimes in August 2013 at Abuja within the judicial division of the court did make a statement dated 13th August 2013 pertaining to N1.8m paid into your bank account by one Rasheed Taiwo, which is inconsistent with the statement you made on August 12th, 2013 to one Abdulmajeed Ibrahim, a detective with EFCC while in the course of the exercise of the duty of his office and thereby committed an offence contrary to section (39) (2) (b) of the EFCC Act 2004,” the charges read.
The court adjourned the case till March 15.