Dudafa Says EFCC Forced Him To Write Statement

Dudafa Says Statements Made To EFCC Were ForcedThe Federal High Court has adjourned till February 13, it’s ruling on the admissibility of a court order on which authority the EFCC remanded a former Senior Special Assistant on Domestic Affairs to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Waripamo-Owei Dudafa.

The defendant had contended that the EFCC remanded him in custody without access to his lawyers.

He had also denied statements made in custody insisting that the statements were dictated and he was mentally tortured to sign them in order to regain his freedom.

Under cross-examination on Tuesday from Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, the Counsel to the EFCC, Mr Dudafa denied being offered administrative bail by the commission.

He, however, admitted that one Barrister Sylvanus Habila who is his Uncle came to his rescue and acted as his lawyer.

The EFCC says the administrative bail was not completed because the lawyer recommended on behalf of the defendant’s sureties produced forged documents before the commission.

The EFCC told the court that this lawyer was also present in court when the remand order from a magistrate court was obtained.

Mr Dudafa, however, insisted that the lawyer was seen and not heard as the remand proceedings was an exparte one.

A move to tender the remand order in court to show that the lawyer made an argument for Mr Dudafas bail in the Magistrate court was rebuffed by the Defence Counsel, Mr Gboyega Oyewole who insisted that the document was not certified neither was it properly produced before the court.

The EFCC insisted that the document was produced in its primary form and did not require certification.

Following arguments and counter arguments on the issue, Justice Mohammed Idris adjourned till Feb 13 to consider his ruling on the admissibility of the document.

Mr Dudafa is testifying in a trial-within-trial to determine the voluntariness of some statements he made while in the custody of the EFCC after his arrest on charges of illegally concealing about 1.6billion Naira which were alleged to be proceeds of crime.

Alleged $15.5m Scam: Jonathan’s Aide, Dudafa Loses Bid To Change Companies’ Plea

Court-dockTwo applications brought before a Federal High Court in Lagos by a former Special Assistant on Domestic Matters to Goodluck Jonathan, Emmanuel Dudafa and his co-defendant, Azubuike Briggs, have been dismissed.

Justice Babs Kuewumi dismissed the applications on Friday on the ground that the they constituted an abuse of court process.

At the last adjourned date, the 1st and 2nd defendants (Dudafa and Briggs) brought separate applications through their counsels, Gboyega Oyewale and Tochukwu Onyuike, asking the court to set aside the “guilty plea” earlier entered by the 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th defendants.

Dudafa’s counsel, Oyewale, fears that, the “guilty plea” entered by the four companies would adversely affect them since the proceedings were joint proceedings and the first count bordered on conspiracy.

He also claimed that the purported directors of the companies stated in their statement to Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) that they had nothing to do with the companies.

An Abuse Of Court Process

A spokesman for the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, said that Mr Onyiuke, on his part, challenged the jurisdiction and competence of Justice Kuewumi to even entertain the arraignment of the four companies, in the first place.

“The condition precedent to this Honourable Court assuming jurisdiction, to wit: authority to represent the 4th to 7th defendants by their purported representatives further to Section 477(3) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, is completely lacking”, Onyiuke argued.

He said accepting the “guilty plea” of the companies who admitted that they conspired with his client to launder the money would occasion a miscarriage of justice against his client.

Responding, counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo, urged the court to dismiss both applications as it was an abuse of court process at this stage after the court had already assumed jurisdiction and the plea of the defendants had been taken.

According to him, it was too late for the 2nd defendant to challenge the jurisdiction of the court.

Rotimi also called the attention of the court to the statements of accounts from Skye Bank where the $15.5m was kept, showing that Davies, Baro, Fredrick and Ebenezer were the authorized persons with mandate to operate the accounts.

He said the accounts were opened pursuant to documents from the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, where Davies, Baro, Fredrick and Ebenezer were registered as directors in the companies.

“The prima facie evidence before Your Lordship is that those who appeared before Your Lordship are the directors of the 4th to 7th defendants,” Oyedepo submitted.

In his ruling, Justice Keuwumi agreed with the argument of the prosecution that the applications were indeed an abuse of court process and accordingly dismissed same.

The case has been adjourned to November 2, 2016 for trial.