EFCC Told Me I Would Accuse Former President Jonathan Adoke – Witness
Former Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) Bello Adoke’s defense witness testified before the Federal High Court in Abuja that an EFCC agent threatened to name former President Goodluck Jonathan in the alleged money laundering case brought against him and the former AGF.
Aliyu Abubakar, a co-defendant in the case and the witness, claimed to the judge Inyang Ekwo on Monday that Bala Sanga, a lawyer for the anti-graft agency, had also threatened to implicate Mr. Adoke.
He made this statement while being cross-examined by his attorney, Senior Advocate of Nigeria Wole Olanipekun.
The anti-graft organization is bringing a 14-count case against Mr. Adoke, who served as AGF from 2010 to 2015 while Mr. Jonathan was president, and a businessman named Aliyu Abubakar.
In the accusations, the EFCC claimed, among other things, that Mr. Adoke had in August 2013 in Abuja taken a cash payment of the equivalent of N300 million from Mr. Aliyu and in doing so had violated section 16 (2)(b) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 that is punishable by a fine (as amended).
While Mr. Adoke allegedly made structured cash payments into Mr. Abubakar’s Unity Bank Plc Account No. 0020153263 in September 2013, Mr. Abubakar was also accused of collecting a cash payment of $4 million from Faman Holdings Limited through one Abdulhakeem Uthman Mustapha.
Tuesday’s internal trial
On May 10, Aminu Lawal, the second prosecution witness in the trial-within-trial, stated that Mr. Abubakar had not been coerced into making any statements or convinced to accuse others during the inquiry.
On December 31, 2019 and January 6, 2020, the defendant’s remarks were recorded by Mr. Lawal, one of the investigators.
However, Mr. Abubakar asserted in court on Tuesday that he was coerced into making his extrajudicial remarks on December 31, 2019, and January 6, 2020.
He said that on December 31, 2019, at the request of the EFCC, Mr. Sanga, a former prosecutor in the case, threatened to detain him if he refused to give extrajudicial statements to accuse Messrs. Jonathan and Adoke.
According to Mr. Abubakar, Mr. Sanga identified himself as the new prosecutor in the case and told him there was evidence that he (Mr. Abubakar) had given Mr. Adoke the sum of $20 million.
Additionally, Mr. Abubakar informed the judge that Mr. Sanga had told him that there was additional evidence showing that he (Mr. Abubakar) had given Mr. Jonathan the sum of $50 million.
“On December 31, 2019, my attorney, Ahmed Audu, informed me that an EFCC agent named Ibrahim Ahmed had phoned to ask for explanation on this issue from me.
“I went to the EFCC with my counsel. When I arrived, some EFCC employees, including Ibrahim, Babangida, and others, came in and demanded that I make a confessional statement.
“They claimed that because of the way things are now, someone named Bala Sanga needs to record me (on camera).
“He identified himself as this case’s new prosecutor. He praised me and advised me to keep working with them because doing so will result in their assistance to me.
Then, he probed me with inquiries. I refused to make any further statements because I had previously made ones that were already shared with them when he asked my attorney to write on my behalf.
Mr. Abubakar stated, “He threatened if I don’t, they will detain me.”