New revelations have been made in the trial-within-trial of the former Attorney-General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke.
According to SaharaReporters, Mr. Aliyu Abubakar, the first defence witness in the trial-within-trial of the former Attorney-General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke, has told a Federal High Court, Abuja that he was threatened by an operative of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and told to implicate former President Goodluck Jonathan in the alleged money laundering suit filed against him and Adoke.
He told the trial judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo on Tuesday while being led in evidence by his lawyer, Wole Olanipekun (SAN) that the officer, Mr. Bala Sanga, threatened him and told him to implicate the ex-AGF.
The second prosecution witness in the trial-within-trial, Aminu Lawal, on May 10, told the court that Abubakar was never forced to make statements nor coerced to implicate others in the course of the investigation and that he was never threatened with detention.
Lawal was one of the investigators who took the defendant’s statements on December 31, 2019, and on January 6, 2020.
Abubakar, who is a co-defendant in the suit, told the judge that the statements he made on December 31, 2019 and January 6, 2020 were not made voluntarily.
He said on December 31, 2019 when he was invited to the EFCC's office, Sanga threatened to detain him if he refused to make the statements.
Also, Abubakar said on January 6, 2022, 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 to Adoke.
"On 31st December 2019, my lawyer, Ahmed Audu, came to me and said one Ibrahim Ahmed from EFCC called him that they needed clarification from me about this case.
Abubakar said, "I followed my lawyer to EFCC. When I got there, some of the EFCC's staff like Ibrahim, Babangida and others came in 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 will help me if I continue to cooperate with them.
"He then asked me questions. He asked my lawyer to write for me and I said no that I will not make any more statements because I had already made statements which were with them.
"He said if I don't, they will detain me.”
He said due to the fact that it was a festive period then, he had to succumb to the officer's instruction.
"I realised the next day was January 1, 2020, that was why I decided that they should write for me," he said.
While recounting 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 one side that Alhaji, I want to help you in this case.
"He (Sanga) asked how close I am 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."
Adoke's counsel, Kanu Agabi, SAN, while crossed-examining Abubakar, asked him to reconfirm his statement that Sanga told him to implicate Adoke; he answered in the affirmative.
Counsel for the EFCC, Offem Uket, during his cross-examination, told Abubakar that the statements he made on December 31, 2019, and January 6, 2020, were voluntarily made.
He said in the video clip played in the open court on the last adjourned date, Abubakar did not protest against the directive by the agency's officers on making the extra-judicial statements but the witness disagreed with Uket.
Also, the second defence witness, Ahmed Audu, who is Abubakar's lawyer, also testified in the matter after Abubakar was discharged from the witness box.
Audu said he wrote the statement on Abubakar's behalf on December 31, 2019.
"Sanga came in that day and asked my name and I said, Barrister Ahmed. He said he was the new prosecutor in this matter and he took over from one Aliyu Yusuf.
"He said he needed some clarifications from us and my client rejected because he had written a number of statements over this matter. Ibrahim said anything Sanga asked us to do we should do.
"While we were there, we heard Magu’s (former EFCC chairman) siren coming in and I was even sweating and I felt guilty already. I asked Ibrahim why did he say that anything he asked us to do, do it.
"That was how we started the statement. That was what happened that day. After the statement, I asked Ahmed Ibrahim can I go with my client.”
"They released us around 7:30pm on that day and we protested that I will not sign and my client too. But they said we will not go until we sign. So, they ask us to come on January 6, 2020," he added.
Adoke was the Minister of Justice and AGF during President Jonathan's administration between April 6, 2010 and April 29, 2015.