The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Wednesday, May 11, insisted that the chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, Justice Danladi Umar was freely implicated in a N10m bribery allegations leveled against him by a retired customs comptroller, Rasheed Taiwo Owolabi.
The anti graft agency told a Federal Capital Territory High Court that the Personal Assistant to the CCT Chairman, Allied Gamboa Abdullahi named Umar as the beneficiary of the part payment made by Taiwo 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 was another detective with the EFCC, Bala Mohammed, who told the court how he was invited in 2013 to participate in investigation of a petition of Owolabi concerning the same bribery scandal.
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 volunteered a statement to EFCC.
Mohammed claimed that Abdullahi was queried 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 afterthought and uncalled for because he (Abdulahi) was granted bails in his own self recognition.
Another EFCC witness, a superintendent of police, Reuben Omosieho corroborated the evidence of other witnesses to the effect that the statement of Abdullahi in the N10m bribery allegations was freely, voluntarily and fairly made.
The witness told the FCT High Court that there was nothing unusual in Abdullahi when he was brought before him to suggest that the statement was ade under duress or under any inducement.
Justina Orji has however Adjourned the case till June 14 for Abdullahi to enter his defence in the trial within trial being conducted by the court over his claims that he made the statement against the CCT boss under duress and inducement.