By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA– The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Wednesday, tendered in evidence, a cash sum of $25,000, two Samsung phones and two audio recordings, against the former Senator for Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani, who is facing trial before the Federal High Court in Abuja.
The former lawmaker is answering to a two-count charge bordering on bribery, name-dropping and influence-peddling.
He was accused of fraudulently obtaining the sum of $25, 000. 00 from the Chairman of ASD Group of Companies and board member, Peugeot Automobile Ltd, Alhaji Sani Dauda.
EFCC alleged that the Defendant collected the money from Dauda under the false pretence that it would be used to bribe its suspended Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, so as to shield him from investigation and prosecution.
According to the prosecution, the erstwhile lawmaker equally aused false pretence and collected $15, 000 from Dauda under the guise that the Chief Justice of Nigeria approved that the money should be given to four judges and the prosecutor, for them to hands-off his case and that of his enstranged inlaw, one Abubakar Musa.
Senator Sani had since denied the allegations, even as he pleaded not guilty to the charge.
At the resumed proceedings in the matter on Wednesday, the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Ekele Iheanacho, tendered the $25, 000 cash and the other exhibits, through the 10th witness, PW-10, Mr. Bako Aliyu.
EFCC’s lawyer further also tendered in evidence, two Newspaper publications, an extra judicial statement made by the ex-Senator, a letter from the CJN denying knowledge of the alleged transaction, as well as a petition that was written by the complainant.
In a bench ruling, trial Justice Inyang Ekwo noted that the petition was already in evidence before the court.
The Judge however admitted all the other exhibits in evidence, even as he ordered that the cash and phones should be kept in the custody of the anti-graft agency.
“Upon consensus of counsel, I make an order returning the 25,000 and the handsets to the prosecution for safe keeping.
“The exhibits shall be made available to the court when so ordered,” Justice Ekwo held.
The matter was subsequently adjourned to December 4 for continuation of hearing.
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