Money Laundering: I was threatened by an EFCC official to indict Jonathan, Adoke, witness tells court


Aliyu Abubakar said that one Bala Sanga had threatened to detain him if he refused to implicate the former president, and ex-minister.

Aliyu Abubakar, a defence witness in the trial-within-trial of the former Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, told the Federal High Court, Abuja, that an EFCC officer threatened him to indict former President Goodluck Jonathan in alleged money laundering.Mr Abubakar, also a co-defendant in the suit, told Justice Inyang Ekwo while being led in evidence by his counsel, Wole Olanipekun, SAN, that the officer, Bala Sanga, also threatened him to indict the minister.

Mr Adoke was the Minister of Justice during Mr Jonathan’s administration between April 6, 2010, and April 29, 2015.

Aminu Lawal, the second prosecution witness in the trial-within-trial, had, on May 10, said Mr Abubakar was neither forced to make statements nor induced to implicate others in the course of the investigation and that he was never threatened to be detained.

At the resumed trial on Tuesday, Mr Abubakar, a business mogul, told the judge that the extrajudicial statements he made on December 31, 2019, and on January 6, 2020, were not made voluntarily.

He said on December 31, 2019, when he was invited to the EFCC’s office, Mr Sanga threatened to detain him if he refused to make an extrajudicial statement.

Mr Abubakar said on January 6, 2022, Mr Sanga, who introduced himself as the new prosecutor in the matter, told him that there was evidence before him (Sanga) which showed that he (Abubakar) gave the sum of 20 million dollars to Adoke.

He also told the court that Mr Sanga informed him that there was other evidence which indicated that he (Abubakar) gave the sum of $50 million to ex-President Jonathan.

“I followed my lawyer to the EFCC office. When I got there, some of the EFCC’s staff like Ibrahim, Babaginda and others came in and told me 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 would help me if I continued to cooperate with them.”

He said because it was a festive period then, he had to succumb to the officer’s instruction.

Speaking about his experience at the anti-graft agency’s office, he said, “That day we went to the EFCC, and they asked us to come the second day. Bala Sanga called me to say, ‘Alhaji, I want to help you in this case.

“He (Sanga) asked how close I was to Adoke. He said you have to sacrifice somebody to be alive.

“He said there is evidence before him which he will show me at the right time; that he heard information that I gave Adoke 20 million dollars. I said what? How did it come?

“He said maybe because me and Adoke are from the same place and that that was why I did not want to say anything.

“He also said that there is evidence before him that I gave Goodluck Jonathan 50 million dollars.

“He said if I did not agree to cooperate with him, he would charge me to court. So I said he should go ahead.”

Mr Abubakar said the argument by the anti-graft agency that nobody asked him to implicate anybody was untrue.

Mr Adoke’s counsel, Kanu Agabi, SAN, while cross-examining Mr Abubakar, asked him to reconfirm his statement that Mr Sanga told him to implicate Mr Adoke, and he answered in the affirmative.

Counsel for the EFCC, Offem Uket, said in the video clip played in the open court on the last adjourned date that Mr Abubakar did not protest against the directive by the agency’s officers to make the extrajudicial statements, but the witness disagreed with Mr Uket.

Also, the second defence witness, Ahmed Audu, Mr Abubakar’s lawyer, testified in the matter after Mr Abubakar was discharged from the witness box.

“Ibrahim said anything Sanga asked us to do, we should do. While we were there, we heard Magu (former EFCC’s chairman)’s siren coming in, and I was even sweating, and I felt guilty already.

“They released us around 7:30 p.m. on that day and we protested that I would not sign and my client too. But they said we will not go until we sign. So they ask us to come on Jan. 6, 2020,” he said.

Justice Ekwo adjourned the matter until September 28 for a hearing.




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