N10m Bribe: Cct Chairman, Umar Was Implicated – Efcc Witness
SAN FRANCISCO, May 12, (THEWILL) – The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has said the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Mr. Danladi Umar, was implicated in a N10 million bribery scam leveled against him by a retired Comptroller of the Nigeria Customs Service, Rasheed Taiwo Owolabi.
Owolabi is standing trial before the tribunal over alleged breach of the Code of Conduct rules for public servants.
The EFCC told an Abuja High Court that the Personal Assistant to Umar, Alli Gambo Abdullahi, named the CCT chairman as the beneficiary of the part payment made by Taiwo in respect of the bribery saga.
During the trial of the case before Justice Christiana Orji, the EFCC said the denial made by Abdullahi much later after his first statement of September 9, 2013 was a mere after thought.
In his evidence before before Justice Orji, an operative of the EFCC, Abdulmajeed Ibrahim, who led the investigation into the bribery allegation, told the judge that Abdullahi freely made a statement on September 9, 2013 to the effect that the CCT boss allegedly asked him to act on his behalf.
He told the court that the denial by Abdullahi in another statement cannot invalidate the first statement of 2013 because it was voluntarily made by the accused person.
The witness, who was led in evidence by the EFCC Counsel, Andrew Akoja, urged the court to disregard and reject the denial of Abdullahi that he did not give the bribe money to Justice Umar.
Also testifying, another detective with the EFCC, Bala Mohammed, told the court how he was invited in 2013 to participate in investigation of a petition of one Rasheed Taiwo Owolabi concerning a N10 million bribe demanded by the CCT chairman.
The witness told Justice Orji that the PA to the CCT boss, who is currently standing trial on criminal offences, was invited on August 12, 2013 and he volunteered a statement to the EFCC.
Mohammed claimed that Abdullahi was investigated in an open hall freely and that there was no duress, intimidation, harassment or coercion in the cause of the investigation.
The witness insisted that the statement of Abdullahi was made on his own volition and that he freely signed before the head of the investigating team counter-signed.
Mohammed said the issue of duress raised by Abdullahi was an after thought and uncalled for because he (Abdulahi) was granted bail on self recognition.
Another EFCC Witness, a Superintendent of Police, Reuben Omosieho, corroborated the evidence of other witnesses to the effect that the statement of Abdulahi in the N10 million bribery allegation was freely, voluntarily and fairly made.
The witness told the Abuja High Court that there was nothing unusual in Abdulahi when he was brought before him to suggest that the statement was made under duress or under any inducement.
Justina Orji adjourned the case till June 14 for Abdulahi to enter his defence in the trial within trial been conducted by the court over his claims that he made the statement against the CCT boss under duress and inducement.