N650m Fraud: EFCC says ex-minister, Jumoke Akinjide’s statement was not made under duress
A prosecution witness, Usman Zakari, in the ongoing trial of a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Oloye Jumoke Akinjide, and others, on Wednesday, May 16, 2018, told Justice Muslim S. Hassan of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos that the former minister was not mandated to write down her statement upon her invitation to the Commission’s office.
Akinjide alongside Senator Ayo Adeseun and a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) stalwart, Chief Olanrewaju Otiti, were re-arraigned on January 16, 2018, on an amended 24-count charge bordering on money laundering to the tune of N650m.
They were alleged to have received the money from a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, in the build-up to the 2015 general election.
The money was part of the $115million allegedly disbursed by Alison- Madueke to influence the outcome of the 2015 presidential election.
The judge had, on April 9, 2018, ordered a trial within trial to determine the voluntariness of the statements, in view of the claim by the defendant that her statement was made under duress and inducement.
However, at the resumed hearing today, Zakari, an investigator with the EFCC, while being cross-examined by the counsel to the first defendant, Bolaji Ayoride, SAN, told the court that he did not specifically request her to make a statement, but that she volunteered to reduce the interview in writing.
Zakari told the court that the first defendant reported to the EFCC office in company with her lawyer and husband on August 9, 2016, where she was interviewed.
“She volunteered her statement, and I supervised the writing of the statement after reading the cautionary words to her,” he added.
When he was asked if there was a manual for interrogation of suspects, Zakari said he did not know of any, adding that “I relied on the training I got both internationally and locally as well as the experience gathered on the job over the years.