Thursday, 4 October 2018

Alleged N500m Fraud: Witness Testifies Against Former Minister In Court

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on October 3rd, 2018 presented the first witness in the trial of former minister of water resources, Mukhtar Shagari alongside four others before Honourable Justice Idrissa Kolo of the Federal High Court sitting in Sokoto.

Shagari was arraigned alongside Senator Abdullahi Mohammed Wali, Nasiru Dalhatu Bafarawa, Ibrahim Gidado and Ibrahim Milgoma, on the 22nd of May, 2018 for allegedly conniving to collect the sum of N500,000,0000 (Five Hundred Million Naira) only.

The money was part of the $115,000,000 (One Hundred and Fifteen Million Dollars) only allegedly distributed by the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Deizani Allison Madueke for the purpose of influencing the 2015 general election.

Upon arraignment,  Shagari alongside his co-defendants pleaded not guilty when the charge was read to them. The case was subsequently adjourned today October 3rd 2018 for the commencement of trial.

When the matter came up today,  prosecution counsel, Toafeeq Lasisi informed the court that he has a witness in court ready to proceed. The witness, Tasiu Abubakar, narrated how the statements of the defendants watas taken at the Commission's Kano Zonal Office.

According to the witness, prior to the statement taking, preliminary investigation was conducted on the intelligence that implicated the defendants after which all the defendants were invited each to the Kano operational zone of the EFCC.

Tashi revealed that he personally took the statement of the first defendant and also witnessed the statement of the second defendant and that of Alhaji Ibrahim Milgoma who is the 5th defendant in the charge. The prosecution counsel applied to tender the statements identified by the witness but counsels representing the defendants opposed the prayer of the prosecution.

Counsel  to Shagari, Ibrahim Abdullahi, argued that the document sought to be tendered is inadmissible because while it was being recorded, his client did not have legal representation

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