Alleged Money Laundering: EFCC Insists Akinjide Made Statements Freely
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has insisted that statements taken from a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Jumoke Akinjide were not obtained by threat or under duress.
An operative of the Commission, Usman Zakari told a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Wednesday that the former Minister freely made the statements during her interrogation.
Zakari was testifying in a trial to determine the voluntariness of the statements.
The former minister is standing trial alongside a former Senator, Senator Ayo Adeseun and a PDP Chieftain, Mrs Olanrewaju Otiti, on a 24 counts bordering on allegations of fraud and money laundering to the tune of N650m.
The money was allegedly received from the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke ahead of the 2015 general elections.
At the continuation of the trial within trial today, Lawyer to Ms. Akinjide, Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN) asked the EFCC witness if he put questions to the former minister and ordered her to write as dictated, Zakari responded saying, “that was not how it was done. She volunteered to put all that she said during interview into statement. She wrote the statement in the presence of her lawyer”.
Zakari also stated that before Akinjide wrote the statement, she was cautioned, and she proceeded to write the statement in his presence, two of his colleagues (Tosin Owobo & Oluwatoyin Ige), one of her lawyers, and her husband, Hon. Ahmed Pategi.
When asked if his team strictly followed training procedure to interrogate the defendant, the operative said: “we followed the procedure. I am the team leader, I relied on my training and the experience I’ve gathered.
The EFCC operative who said he joined the EFCC in 2004/2005, also told the court that he was trained at the National Crime Agency (NCA), United Kingdom, and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Nigeria, in 2015.