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EFCC vs Shehu Sani: Audio evidence fails to link former Senator with $25,000 bribery allegation

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As legal fireworks involving the alledged $25,000 bribery allegation against former Senator and social critic, Shehu Sani resumed on Monday, the Federal High Court has listened to the audio evidence tendered by the prosecuting Counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The audio evidence which was a conversation in Hausa between Shehu Sani and Alhaji Sani Dauda, proprietor of ASD Motors couldn’t however link the alledged money with bribery allegation against the defendant.

The audio was played at the instance of the presiding Judge, Inyang Ekwo who said, the onus is on the prosecutor to prove his case beyond all reasonable doubts.

Prosecuting Counsel, Ekele Iheanacho having addressed the Court earlier on informed the Judge that his prosecution witness 10 (PW10) was available in Court with the evidence.

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The prosecution witness who identified himself as Bako Aliyu, a staff of the anti-graft agency, was asked to play the disk which lasted for 20 minutes.

The EFCC lawyer and the prosecution witness claimed that the conversation has been translated into English language and when asked to play, they couldn’t due to technical hitches.

But, Counsel to defendant, A.A. Ibrahim (SAN) cross examined EFCC’s prosecution witness, stating that the $25,000 was handed over to EFCC by the complainant (Alhaji Sani Dauda) and not his client, Shehu Sani.

He said, the conversation between Shehu Sani and Alhaji Dauda Sani in the audio, though, uncleared has no mention of $25,000 bribery allegation to indict his client anywhere.

While making reference to a proforma invoice previously tendered as part of evidence, the defence lawyer asked, if it wasn’t in relation to a transaction involving car purchases, since the complainant is a car dealer.

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The defence lawyer further asked the EFCC to prove the nexus between $25,000 and Shehu Sani’s request to use the money to bribe the Chief Justice of the Federation and former Chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu.

In the series of questions by the defence Counsel to EFCC’s prosecution witness, he said:

“When the complainant handed over the exhibits to EFCC, you were not there.

Can you quickly tell the court, what is the EFCC’s protocol for starting investigation?

“Am asking you, just be straight forward. What is the EFCC’s protocol for starting investigation?

Responding, EFCC’s prosecution witness submitted that investigation begins when an oral complaint is laid or a statement written.

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He explained that all petitions are addressed and submitted to EFCC Chairman’s office for his approval before there are assigned to investigative officers.

“When the petition is approved, it can be assigned to any of the investigative officer”, Bako Aliyu said.

Defence Counsel further told Court that the EFCC obtained written statement from from Senator Shehu at three different times including when he was detained in their facility for 25 days, but the accused never admitted collecting $25,000 for bribery purposes.

He said the proprietor of ASD motors, Sani Dauda does not have any pending case at EFCC or the former Chief Justice of Federation have any issue that warrants collecting bribe on their behalf.

The matter was adjourned to Tuesday, 16th March, 2021, for continuation.

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