Billionaire businessman and oil magnate, Alhaji Aliyu Abubakar, a co-defendant in the alleged money laundering trial of the former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke SAN, has told a Federal High Court, Abuja that he has no case to answer in the trial.
Abubakar’s counsel, Wole Olanipekun, SAN, made this known to Justice Inyang Ekwo during the adoption of the final written addresses of parties in the trial-within-trial after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had closed its case.
Olanipekun submitted that the extra-judicial statements obtained from his client by the officers of the EFCC, including Mr Bala Sanga, during the investigation were not made voluntarily.
He said that the anti-graft agency admitted in the application they filed, that Sanga, the former prosecuting lawyer, was present during the extraction of the statements.
He alleged that Sanga induced Abubakar to implicate Adoke and others.
“Bala Sanga was there, he was the investigator and prosecutor at the same time.
“Bala Sanga was the one who was inducing the 2nd defendant (Abubakar). He was the one saying bring this man in, bring that one in,” he said.
Olanipekun argued that Sanga, who doubled as investigator and prosecutor, should have been in the court to clear all doubts, insisting that his client was coerced to make the statements.
He, therefore, prayed the court to dismiss the EFCC’s argument and uphold Abubakar’s no-case submission.
Similarly, Chief Kanu Agabi, SAN, who announced an appearance for Adoke (1st defendant), aligned with Olanipekun’s submission.
However, the prosecution lawyer, Offem Uket, opposed Olanipekun’s submission and urged the court to discountenance the same.
Uket argued that during the trial-within-trial, it was revealed that Abubakar’s lawyer was always present when the statements were taking.
The lawyer, who said Abubakar was neither induced nor forced to make the statements, urged the court to dismiss the no-case submission.
Meanwhile, Justice Ekwo has adjourned the matter to December 12,2022 for a ruling on the no-case submission.
Nigerian pilot recalled that Abubakar, while being led in evidence as a defence witness in the trial-within-trial on July 19, had told the court that Sanga, an EFCC officer threatened him to indict former President Goodluck Jonathan in alleged money laundering suit.
He also alleged that the officer threatened to indict Adoke.
Aminu Lawal, the second prosecution witness in the trial-within-trial, had, on May 10, said that Abubakar was neither enforced to make statements nor induced to implicate others in the course of the investigation and that he was never threatened to be detained.
Lawal was part of the investigators who took the defendant’s statements on December 31, 2019, and on January 6, 2020.
But Abubakar told the judge that the extra-judicial statements he made on December 31, 2019 and on January 6, 2020 were not made voluntarily.