Alleged Diezani bribe: Court dismisses defendant’s forced statement claim

The Federal High Court in Lagos Monday dismissed claims by a former Administrative Secretary at the Kwara State office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Mr Christian Nwosu that he was forced to make statements.

He told the court that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) allegedly forced him to surrender his property worth N30million.

He claimed he was also induced to part with N5million in a bid to regain his freedom.

According to Nwosu, the statements he made at EFCC were dictated to him while the one he made voluntarily was described as “rubbish”.

Nwosu and Tijani Inda Bashir were accused of receiving N30million bribe from former Petroleum Minister Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke to rig the 2015 general election results.

They were arraigned along with Yisa Adedoyin, who pleaded guilty to receiving cash payment of N70, 050,000.00 from Mrs Alison-Madueke.

Mrs Alison-Madueke is also named in the charge, but is said to be “at large”.

Justice Mohammed Idris had ordered a trial within trial to determine the truthfulness of Nwosu’s statements.

Ruling on the trial within trial Monday, Justice idris held that there was no sufficient proof that Nwodu did not make his statements voluntarily.

He said he did not find any confession to any crime by Nwosu in the statements.

“A confession, to be a confession, must be direct and positive as far as the charges are concerned. To constitute a confession, a statement must admit that the maker thereof admitted the offences for which he is charged and must be clear, precise and unequivocal.

“It has not been shown that the statements made were direct and unequivocal to the commission of the offence for which the first defendant stands trial in this matter.

“I cannot in the circumstances, therefore, hold these statements are indeed confessional,” the judge said.

He said Nwosu admitted that a word of caution was read to him before he signed the statements.

Justice Idris added that the first defendant failed to corroborate his claim that he was forced to make the statement.

“In the circumstances, I hold that the statements are admissible in evidence. The statements are, therefore, admitted in evidence and are marked as exhibits in the trial,” Justice Idris said.

He adjourned until January 11 for continuation of trial.

SOURCE

thenationonlineng.net

04 December, 2017

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