Shehu Sani vs EFCC: Audio evidence couldnt link $25,000 to bribery allegation


The Federal High Court on Monday continued with the hearing of the alleged $25,000 case against former Senator and social critic, Shehu Sani.

The thrust of the Monday’s hearing before Justice Inyang Ekwo was on the audio conversation between Senator Shehu Sani and Alhaji Sani Dauda, proprietor of ASD motors who is the complainant.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) lawyer, Ekele Iheanacho after addressing the court, introduced the prosecution
witness 10 and a staff of the anti-graft agency, Bako Aliyu.

On the directive of the presiding Judge, EFCC’s prosecution witness played the audio conversation between the defendant (Shehu Sani) and the complainant (Alhaji Sani Dauda) which lasted for about 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 the defendant, A.A. Ibrahim (SAN) cross-examined the EFCC’s prosecution witness, stating that the $25,000 was handed over to the 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.

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?

“I 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.

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

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

The Defence Counsel further told the Court that the EFCC obtained a written statement 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.

Having listened to the Counsels, Justice Ekwo adjourned the matter to Tuesday, 16th March, 2021.

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