EFCC accuses Witness of lying to protect Ex-Minister
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has accused a principal witness, Mr. T. A Dairo who was a Personal Assistant to former Aviation Minister, Prof Babalola Borishade being prosecuted by the anti-graft agency over alleged scam in the award of contract for the N5.6 billion Safe Tower Project, of lying to protect his boss.
The EFCC had on November 19, 2009 filed an amended 15 count charge before an FCT high court against Borishade , the former Director General of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, Mr. Roland Iyayi, an Austrian contractor, George Eider and others for criminal conspiracy and abuse of office.
While being led in his testimony by the defence counsel Adegboyega Awomolo last week, Dairo had told the FCT high court presided over by Justice Sadiq Umar that an operative of the EFCC had threatened to kill him if he failed to implicate Borishade in the contract scam.
At the resumed hearing on Wednesday, December 1, 2010, Prosecution counsel, Sebastine Hon, SAN, while cross examining Dairo in the course of trial within trial asked the witness to mention the police station where he reported the alleged death threat .
But Dairo, in his response, said he did not make attempt to report the alleged threat in any police station.
Hon, who told the court that Dairo was lying about the death threat , asked for his qualification and when he joined the civil service. In response, he said he graduated with a B.Sc in Chemistry from the University of Lagos and joined the civil service in 1987.
The prosecution counsel again told the court that by virtue of Dairo's educational qualification and work experience in the civil service, it would be impossible for a threat of that magnitude, as alleged by the witness, to be waved aside without lodging a formal complaint at any police station.
Defence counsel, Awomolo intermittently raised objections to the questions and prayed the court to disqualify questions put to Dairo by the prosecution counsel. This made the Judge to rule at different times allowing the questions. At a time, the Judge asked “Awomolo, I don't know why today's proceeding is going like this. You are unusually very uncomfortable today”
In his reply Awomolo said, “I have to protect my client. I am paid to protect my client. I am not here to watch and clap for the prosecution counsel”.
The Judge has adjourned the case till January 26, 2011 for adoption of written addresses on the trial within trial.