The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC today insisted that the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Danladi Umar was freely implicated in a N10 million bribery allegations leveled against him by a retired Customs Comptroller, Rasheed Taiwo Owolabi who is standing trial before him.
The anti-graft agency told an Abuja High Court that the personal assistant to the CCT chairman, Allied Gamboa Abdullahi named the CCT chairman as the beneficiary of the part payment made by Taiwan in respect of the bribery saga.
During a trial within trial by justice Christiana Orji the EFCC said that the denial made by Abdullahi much later after his first statement of September 9, 2013 was a mere after thought.
Testifying before Justice Orji, an operative with EFCC Abdulmajeed Ibrahim who led the investigation into the bribery allegations told the judge that Abdullahi freely made statement on September 2013 to the effect that the CCT boss allegedly asked him to act on his behalf.
He told the court that the denial made by the said Abdullahi in another statement can not invalidate the first statement of 2013 because it was voluntary made by the accused person.
The witness who was led in evidence by EFCC Counsel Andrew. Akoja urged the court to disregard and reject the denial of Abdullahi that he did not give the bribery money to Justice Umar.
Also testifying is another detective with 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 10million naira bribery demand by the CCT boss.
The witness told Justice Orji that the PA to the CCT boss who is currently standing trial on criminal offenses was invited on August 12 2013 and he volunteer a statement to 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.
Bala also stated that the issue of duress raised by Abdullahi was an after -thought and uncalled for because he (Abdulahi) was granted bails in his own self recognition.
Another EFCC witness, an 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 allegations 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 has however 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.