An operative of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Aminu Lawal on Tuesday told a Federal High Court in Abuja that the anti-graft agency had never detained Aliyu Abubakar, a co-defendant in the trial of former Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Mohammed Adoke, during the investigation of the case.
Lawal, who is the 2nd prosecution witness in the trial-within-trial of the money laundering charge brought against Abubakar and Adoke by the anti-corruption commission, disclosed to Justice Inyang Ekwo of a Federal High Court, Abuja that the EFCC never detained Abubakar while he was undergoing investigation
The witness said this during cross-examination by Akin Olujimi, SAN, counsel for Abubakar. He said the defendant (Abubakar) was always released on bail after questioning.
He stated that the defendant was never forced to make statements or induced to implicate others in the course of the investigation.
Lawal was among the EFCC investigators who took the defendant’s statements on December 31, 2019; January 6, 2020, and January 25, 2020.
When Olujimi asked the witness to explain how his client was invited for questioning on January 25, 2020, he said “Abubakar was called and he came with his lawyer, Yusuf Ahmed”.
He explained that Abubakar’s statement was taken in the presence of his lawyer.
But the senior lawyer further asked Lawal to tell the court where his client was between January 2, 2020, and January 27, 2020, insisting that he was detained by the agency.
The witness disagreed that Abubakar was detained by the EFCC, saying the defendant was detained in the commission’s facility during the time based on the order of the FCT High Court where he was being tried for another matter.
He said the court had ordered the police to remand him in the EFCC detention.
“Was it not the EFCC lawyer that asked for his remand,” Olujimi asked.
“I don’t know, but the court ordered his remand,” Lawal insisted.
He said the three statements were taken at the conference room of the executive chairman of the anti-graft agency located at Wuse II, Abuja.
He said though there was no closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera in the hall, the interview sessions were recorded with the commission’s HP laptop and copied to a flash drive.
He explained that at the end of each exercise, Abubakar attested to the statements with his signature.
The lawyer representing the EFCC, Ofem Uket, tendered the flash drive as evidence.
The matter was adjourned to Wednesday, May 11 for the continuation of the trial.
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