Harvest Time At EFCC? By Uche Ugboajah

If you are an avid social media follower, one of the sneering comments from those suspected to have been engaged to hound the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Mustapha Magu, a police commissioner, is one that portrays him as incapable of expressing himself. Although Magu would be the first to admit that he does not really enjoy facing the camera, the truth however is that he is lucid enough.

Even then, the EFCC chairman is a police officer, an excellent one at that. He is not a movie star! As a police officer he is trained in the art of bursting financial crimes. Those who have crossed his path, especially his colleagues and of course some thieving former governors—be they in the Senate or out of political office—can attest to his incredible ability in sniffing out a crime from afar. He is that good!

Perhaps, out of usual cynicism or orchestrated mischief, those decidedly against the fight against corruption in the land pretend not to see how effective Magu has become in his position as head of the anti-corruption agency, EFCC. Indeed, we had to wait for foreign nationals and international organizations to nudge us into the reality that we have in our hands a rare jewel leading the fight against graft from the front at EFCC.

Baroness Patricia Scotland, the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, came around and applauded Magu as a “dogged fighter” who is doing a fantastic job and who in the last three years had recovered more money for the country than at any other time; Thabo Mbeki, the former South African president is effusive in his praise for the good work Magu is doing; George Opon Weah, the newly inaugurated president of Liberia, is negotiating with Nigeria to have EFCC to help his country to establish and mentor their own anti-corruption agency in the way Magu is doing wonders; the Commonwealth Africa Anti-corruption Agency has equally taken note of the exploits of the EFCC under Magu and therefore chose him to lead this very important group on the continent; and at the last African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, African leaders unanimously chose President Buhari to lead the line in the fight against corruption on the continent. Those close to the President gleaned that President Buhari openly admitted that his Addis Ababa honour came from the good performance of the EFCC chairman!

Is it not an indictment on the Senate that the man they claim on two occasions was unsuitable for the office of the EFCC chairman continues to draw accolades from home and abroad? Is the Senate really representing the Nigerian citizenry who on daily basis continue to see Ibrahim Magu as the new champion of the masses? Yes, it has to be because the poor, the hard-working and the ordinary citizen, bear the full brunt of the thievery going on in our country in the name of politics. And anyone who is seen to be fighting the dangerous battle of confronting the looters of our common patrimony like the EFCC chairman easily passes as a man of the people. Let allegedly corrupt politicians, especially in the Senate continue to whine; let them continue to sponsor counter-narratives against Magu, Nigerians are already seeing results of his dangerous assignment.

Make no mistakes about this, it is not only in the Senate that the daggers are out for the EFCC chairman. Even among President Buhari’s appointees, there are many who out of petty jealousy, rivalry and the frustrations of their own failure are questioning what this Magu has done to attract all the public support and endorsement. They are even wont to accuse the media of unnecessarily bloating Magu up without any verifiable achievements. What other achievements do these people want bigger than the fact that there seems to be a sense of normative shift in the conduct of public affairs in our country today?

There is equally a sense of action and consequences in the handling of public finance in our country now. The days when public officials treat and handle public funds as prebends are at least for now, gone. There is now this fear that the big eagle eye of the EFCC is watching and public servants and even private business people now know that they must conduct themselves in transparent and less opaque manner in all their financial transactions or risk being arrested and prosecuted. As a country reeling from the debilitating effects of past wanton looting of the economy, this is a significant milestone.

And talking about tangible and verifiable achievements, EFCC under Magu has earned all the praises being heaped on it. Over N738.9 billion of looted funds has been recovered in the last three years; 605 convictions have been secured; Magu recently completed a magnificent office complex for the EFCC, an architectural masterpiece which, Mrs. Farida Waziri, a former chairman, considered a big “shock”. And talking about convictions, cynics have questioned the quality of the convictions alleging that only pickpockets and petty fraudsters get convicted.

Although, it is not the duty of the EFCC to pass judgment but that of the courts, in the last month the EFCC has successfully prosecuted two former governors, Rev. Jolly Nyame and Joshua Dariye, of Taraba and Plateau States respectively. The good Reverend is now serving a jail term of 14 years and his colleague, until his conviction, a serving senator of the Federal Republic, was jailed for 14 years. Interestingly, both Nyame and Dariye are of the ruling APC. Does that send any signal? Of course, those accusing Magu of going after only members of the opposition will not like that fact! Lest we forget, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Joseph Nwobike, and Mohammed Dakingari, former accountant general of Kebbi State, had earlier been convicted and sentenced to one month and 70 years, respectively.

In the weeks ahead, more convictions or acquittals may just come to us like the thief in the night just as Nyame’s and Dariye’s did. This is so because some of the corrupt cases involving high profile politicians have been slated for judgment. This might be a huge harvest time for the EFCC and the Nigerian people. Although President Buhari and indeed activists like Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili, Professor Akin Oyebode, Professor Chidi Odinkalu, Femi Falana, Jiti Ogunye and civil society organizations have called out the judiciary to take its rightful place in the fight to save this country from the vice-like grip of corruption, I am told that there is nothing the judge can do when the prosecution cannot argue a strong case. And the prosecution can equally do nothing with a poorly investigated case.

It is interesting to know that Magu personally investigated the cases of the two convicted former governors, Nyame and Dariye. He also investigated many of their other colleagues hiding away within the sanctuary of the Senate. Once again, I am told he is a crack detective, highly respected in the profession abroad. Some people in the Senate already have this strategic information and have allegedly sworn that Magu can only be confirmed as substantive chairman of the EFCC over their dead bodies, to use that weather-beaten cliché. You now know why!

*Ugboajah, a public policy analyst, wrote from Abuja.

Nyame, Dariye’s Convictions Show We’re Not Biased – EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it has been vindicated by the convictions of two former governors and prominent members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Jolly Nyame and Joshua Dariye, by a Federal Capital Territory High Court.

Spokesman for the anti-graft agency, Wilson Uwujaren, said in a statement on Wednesday that the court judgements have proven the critics of the EFCC wrong that it is lukewarm in prosecuting APC chieftains for corruption.

Nyame and Dariye, both former two-term governors of Taraba and Plateau states respectively, were convicted and sentenced to 14 years in prison on corruption charges.

While Nyame was convicted of criminal misappropriation, diversion of public funds, and breach of public trust, Dariye was sentenced for criminal breach of trust and misappropriation of public funds.

In the course of Nyame’s trial, the prosecution called 14 witnesses and presented documentary evidence, which among other things, revealed that the N250 million was shared and never utilised for the purpose for which it was approved.

A total of N180 million was diverted to the bank account of Salman Global Ventures Limited, which provided no services for the state.

On his part, Dariye diverted about N1.16 billion Ecological Fund meant for the state, to his personal use, including transferring monies to Ebenezer Retnan Ventures (an unregistered company reportedly managed by him) and Pinnacle Communications Limited.

In proving its case against Dariye, the EFCC called 10 witnesses, including a detective constable with the UK Metropolitan Police in London, Peter Clark, who investigated Dariye in the UK for money laundering offence.

Both trials had been ongoing for 11 years and towards the end of the proceedings, the two convicts changed their political camps, moving from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the ruling APC.

According to the anti-graft agency, Dariye who won election into the Senate on the platform of the PDP decamped to the APC at a critical phase of his trial, when the prosecution had called all its vital witnesses and conviction appeared imminent.

Not surprisingly, this fueled speculation that the gambit was a calculated move to stave off imminent conviction but rather than slow proceedings, his trial accelerated, forcing the defence to close its case and setting the stage for the judgment of June 12.

The EFCC revealed further that a former Accountant General of Kebbi State and member of the APC, Mohammed Dakingari, was convicted of corruption and sentenced to 70 years in prison.

They noted, however, that former governor of Abia state, Orji Uzor Kalu, is still being prosecuted in court by despite crossing over to the APC.

“Indeed, the Commission has closed its case in that matter after calling several witnesses. But rather than open his defence, Kalu elected to file a ‘no case submission’.

“It will be up to the court to determine whether the Commission has presented enough evidence to warrant him to enter his defence,” the statement read.

Referring to the cases listed above, the anti-corruption agency maintained that it is apolitical and not bothered by the political colours and affiliations of crime suspects.

“Rather than entertain idle gossips who thrive on haranguing the EFCC with charges of selectivity, these two recent convictions offer Nigerians the opportunity to better appreciate the efforts and sacrifices of the Commission, given the enormous resources in cash and man-hours that went into proving the cases against the two former governors, both of which went up to the Supreme Court on preliminary issues.

“Particularly in the case of Dariye, one of the witnesses, Peter Clark, a former detective of the Metropolitan Police, came several times to give evidence only for proceedings to be frustrated with forced adjournments by Dariye’s Lawyers. His passage from the UK to Nigeria and back was at the expense of Nigeria taxpayers,” the statement added.

UK Pledges Support To EFCC

British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Paul Arkwright, has said that the United Kingdom will continue to support the anti-corruption crusade in Nigeria as is being spearheaded by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. Arkwright, who was accompanied by Daniel Murphy, on a visit to the FFCC Headquarters, Abuja, commended the Commission’s efforts in ridding the country of corruption.

“We are pleased to see how the EFCC operates, and we are assuring you of the endless support of the British government in the fight against corruption,” he said.

“The UK and Nigeria have evolved and made progress in the fight against corruption, and the EFCC’s achievements have been impressive,” he added.

He urged the EFCC to work hand in hand with the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in ensuring a free and fair political process, in the buildup to the 2019 elections.

He said: “INEC and EFCC should be there to preserve the integrity of the political process, including taking forward investigations without any prejudice on one side or the other, following the evidence and taking action where it is justified.”

He further gave assurances of the British government’s support “both in technical assistance, in investigation and of course broadening support of this great independent institution of the EFCC.”

Ibrahim Magu, the acting EFCC Chairman, appreciated the British government for its support, and assured him of the independence of the EFCC in the discharge of its mandate.

He said: “I assure you that there is no political interference in what we do. We will continue to work with stakeholders like INEC who we have an agreement with to ensure that there is no interference to ensure free and fair election in Nigeria and we will stop people using money to buy votes”.

According to him, the EFCC operates international best practices, and “does diligent preliminary investigation”.

“We do not invite anybody here if he is not found to be involved in one offence or crime and that is why when you come here, it takes a lot of effort to be off the chain whatever case that comes to EFCC is investigated to the logical conclusion. We take the case to court who gives the final decision”, he added.

 

 

Witness Reveals How Ibrahim Shehu Shema Approved The Expenditure Of Local Government Funds Without Following Due Process

During the ongoing trial of a former governor of Katsina State, Ibrahim Shehu Shema today, a witness, Ibrahim Dabo Bujawa has revealed how the ex-governor approved the expenditure of local government funds without following due process between 2013 and 2015.

Bujawa made the disclosure through his statement to the EFCC which was admitted in evidence and marked as exhibit 2. The witness in the statement revealed that his committee on investigation of local government finances at the conclusion of its assignment uncovered series of malpractice.

“The committee I chaired for the investigation of the finances of local governments and Sate Universal Basic Education, SUBEB observed series of malpractice bordering on non submission of payment vouchers by the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, irregular payment of money on sheets of paper, improper and suspected fraudulent payments on the State Joint Local Government Account maintained under the Ministry for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and non-documentation of financial transactions by local governments; all involving the loss of funds to the tune of over Thirty Four Billion Naira,” the witness said.

“In defiance of the norms as stated above, the committee observed that all payments to local government councils were processed through Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and channeled through ALGON, a Non-governmental association which the committee considered unofficial, irregular and unconstitutional,” he added.

Earlier during the trial, prosecution counsel Sam Ologunorisa SAN asked the witness if he was given any letter appointing him to chair the committee on investigation of local government expenses, to which the witness replied, ‘yes’. The witness subsequently identified the letter and the prosecution applied to tender same in evidence.

The team of counsel representing the accused persons, J.B. Daudu ,SAN, A.T. Kehinde, SAN, B.Y. Kura SAN and Uyi Igunma objected to the admissibility of the said letter but were all overruled by the court and the letter was admitted as exhibit 1.

Ologunorisa further asked the witness, if he could identify the investigation report he conducted during the period and Bujawa identified it. The document was then requested to be admitted into evidence.

Counsel representing the accused persons again objected to the admissibility of the said document.

Justice Bako subsequently adjourned the matter to July 9 and 10 for ruling on the admissibility of the investigation report and continuation of trial.

Shema is charged alongside three others, Ibrahim Lawal Dankaba, Sani Hamisu Makana and Ahmed Rufai Safana for allegedly embezzling over Eleven Billion Naira from the coffers of Katsina State local governments joint account.

Court Stops Shekarau From Traveling Abroad Over Fraud Charge

Former governor of Kano State Malam Ibrahim Shekarau has been stopped by the Federal High Court sitting in Kano from travelling out of the country.

Justice Zainab Bage Abubakar of the Federal High Court refused the application.  Recall that Shekarau approached the court with a motion on notice dated 28 May, 2018 praying the court to direct its Deputy Chief Registrar to release his International Passport to enable him travel to Saudi Arabia from May 30 to June 23, 2018 for lesser hajj.

In response to the motion, counsel for the respondent, Johnson Ojogbane filed a 9 paragraph counter affidavit opposing the motion.

When the case came up today for hearing, counsel to Shekarau, Abdul Adamu moved his application and adopted the written address attached to the application in his argument.

Ojogbane on the other hand moved his 9 paragraph counter affidavit urging the court to refuse the application.

Justice Abubakar in her ruling held that “after due consideration of the motion of the defendant applicant and the counter affidavit of the respondent I deem it unnecessary to release the passport of the defendant applicant as it is one of the conditions in the grant of his bail”. She subsequently refused and dismissed the application for lack of merit.

Shekarau was arraigned by the EFCC alongside two others, Aminu Bashir Wali and one Mansur Ahmed for allegedly conniving to collect the sum of N950,000,000 part of the $115,000,000 allegedly distributed by the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke for the purpose of compromising the 2015 general election.

We’re Not Planning To Block Rivers Govt Accounts – EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has dispelled claims that it is planning to block accounts linked to the Rivers state government.

Rivers state Governor, Nyesom Wike had at a function in Port Harcourt alleged that the EFCC was tracking activities on the accounts of the state government.

But the Zonal Head of EFCC, Nnaghe Obono-Itam denied the allegation while briefing newsmen at the South-South office in Port Harcourt.

Obono-Itam also said the anti-corruption is bound by a subsisting court order barring any agency from investigating accounts belonging to the Rivers state government.

He added that comments by Governor Nyesom Wike against the EFCC was an allegation.

The Head of EFCC in the South South, however, disclosed that the agency has secured thirteen convictions from the twenty-eight matters in court and one-hundred and sixty-six complaints received in the last five months.

The Zonal EFCC boss who is an Assistant Commissioner of Police also revealed that a fake contract syndicate who engage in selling fake NDDC form has been smashed by the commission.

According to him, “I am not aware that the EFCC, whether here or Abuja is monitoring the Rivers state. Those accounts are not spirits. They are run by human beings so, how will you block such an account without anyone knowing.

“There is a subsisting judgement during the time if Odili that bars the EFCC or Federal Government agencies from investigating the finances of Rivers state except through a complaint by the House of Assembly.

“If the Rivers state House of Assembly are satisfied with the way their funds are being managed, We don’t have a problem with that.

“People allege a lot things against the Federal government. Whether in the South East or the South South , the EFCC must do its job.”

EFCC Urges Banks To Disclose Customers Information

Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, urged banks to provide the agency with a list of corrupt customers ahead of the 2019 general elections.

Speaking during an interactive session with Association of Chief Compliance Officers of Banks in Nigeria, ACCOBIN, in Lagos on Thursday, May 31, 2018, Magu said: “We need to find a common ground to work together. You have a responsibility to fight corruption.

Magu urged compliance officers of banks in Nigeria to be more diligent in their responsibilities, as a way of tackling money laundering and other fraudulent practices in the sector. He said compliance officers in various banks in Nigeria must also take ownership of the fight against corruption, which he described as one of the problems bedeviling the banking industry.

“The Commission is ready to partner with you to ensure a healthy economy. We are ready to assist the banks in recovering their debts, but compliance officers must ensure due diligence, especially when giving out loans to customers. I know you sometimes need to protect some of your customers.  But it is sometimes better that you do without some of these people; otherwise, you will be seen as conspiring with them to steal public funds.”

He further charged banks’ compliance officers to always provide the Commission with necessary information to assist it in carrying out its responsibilities, adding that “We must work together to save this country. Most of the banks are sitting on water. In fact, some of these banks are almost collapsing.

“I know there are questions you can’t ask, particularly it involves some individuals, but if you give us information on such people, we will move in. If there are fundamental issues that can affect your banks, you can give us the information, especially as another general election approaches. I don’t want to be charging banks alongside suspected criminals because doing so can wreak havoc on the economy. It will even discourage investors from coming to the country.”

Uzor-Kalu Tells Court He Has No Case To Answer

Embattled former Abia State Governor, Orji Kalu, on Wednesday told a Federal High Court in Lagos that he has no case to answer as regards the alleged fraud preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Kalu is being prosecuted alongside his company, Slok Nigeria Limited; and a former Director of Finance and Account at the Abia State Government House, Mr. Ude Udeogu.

The EFCC, in the charges, alleged that while he was governor of Abia State, Kalu siphoned funds running into over N2.9bn from the state’s treasury.

Kalu’s lawyer, Awa Kalu (SAN) at the resumed hearing on Wednesday informed Justice Mohammed Idris that he has filed a motion for no case submission on behalf of his client, stating that the ex-governor has no case to answer with regard to the alleged fraud.

“A motion for no case submission was filed on behalf of the first defendant on May 28 and it has been served on the prosecution,” Kalu said.

The other defence counsel, Solo Akuma (SAN) and K. C. Nwofo (SAN) also informed the court that they had filed no case submissions on behalf of the other defendants.

Earlier, EFCC’s counsel, Adebisi Adeniyi, had drawn the court’s attention to an amended charge filed by the anti-graft agency before the commencement of proceedings.

“We did inform the court at the last adjourned date that we want to file an amended charge. We have filed the amended charge this morning. We were also served with the defendants’ motion for no case submissions,” Adeniyi said.

In response, defence lawyers told the court that the defendants had not been served with any amended charge by the prosecution.

Akuma, however, drew the court’s attention to the provisions of Section 216 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, which, he argued, does not allow the prosecution to amend a charge without leave of court.

He said that the prosecution ought to have applied by way of motion on notice for amendment, which would afford the defence an opportunity to be heard before the court exercises its discretion for or against the application.

When the prosecution opted to serve the charge on defence counsel in court, Kalu objected to service on the grounds that the charge ought to be served personally on the accused and not on his counsel.

In a bench ruling, Justice Idris directed the service of the amended charge on the defendants inside the court.

The defence lawyers, however, sought for an adjournment to enable them to study the amended charge.

Justice Idris adjourned till June 13 for further hearing.

Kalu was accused of diverting state funds into the account of Slok Nigeria Limited, a company the EFCC claimed was owned by Kalu and his family members.

 

Alleged N3.2bn Fraud: EFCC Files Amended 39 Charges Against Kalu

The EFCC on Wednesday, filed an amended 39 charges before a Federal High Court Lagos, against a former governor of Abia, Orji Uzor Kalu in an alleged N3.2 billion fraud.

The EFCC had on October 31, 2016, preferred a 34-count against Kalu and a former Commissioner for Finance in Abia, Ude Udeogo.

A Company, Slok Nig. Ltd, said to be owned by Kalu, was also joined in the charges.

The accused had pleaded not guilty to the charges and were granted bail.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that at the last adjourned date on May 11, The EFCC had closed its case, but had informed the court that it intended to file an amended charge against the accused, to reflect further evidence.

The court had then adjourned the case, for the defence to open its defence.

On Wednesday, when the case was called, the prosecutor Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), informed the court of an amended charge against the accused which he had filed this morning, adding that the prosecution was also served with a no case submission by each of the accused.

He said that he received the no case submission of first accused on May 28 at 5pm, while he received those of the second and third accused shortly before the court sat this morning.

In response, first defence counsel, Mr Awa Kalu (SAN), confirmed to the court that he had filed a no case submission on behalf of first accused but added that the accused had not been served with any amended charge by the prosecution.

Second and third defence counsel, Messrs Solo Akuma (SAN) and K. C Nwofo (SAN), also informed the court that they had filed no case submissions on behalf of the second and third accused, which were served on the prosecution this morning.

They also informed the court that neither the defence nor any of its legal team had seen or received copies of the said amended charge by the prosecution.

Specifically, Akuma drew the courts attention to the provisions of sections 216 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, which he argued does not allow the prosecution to amend a charge without leave of court.

He said that the prosecution ought to have applied by way of motion on notice for amendment, which would afford the defence an opportunity to be heard before the court exercises its discretion for or against the application.

When the prosecution opted to serve the charge on defence counsel in court, first defence counsel (Kalu) objected to service, on the grounds that the charge ought to be served personally on the accused and not on his counsel.

In his response, Jacobs reminded the court that at the last adjourned date, before he closed the case for the prosecution, he had informed the court of the amended charge.

He said that however, following “gentlemen agreements” between him and the defence, he had decided to close his case before bringing the amended charge.

 

(NAN)

Alleged Corruption: EFCC Says Defecting To APC Won’t Stop Orji Kalu’s Case

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has insisted that the fact that a former governor of Abia State, Mr Orji Kalu, changed his political party won’t stop the alleged corruption case involving him.

Spokesperson for the commission, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, said on Tuesday during his appearance on Channels Forum, a Channels Television programme which brings opinion leaders and policymakers together to discuss and find solutions to Nigeria’s problems.

The EFCC had charged Mr Kalu with fraud allegations running into billions of naira when he served as governor of Abia State.

In January, A legal practitioner, Kingsley Ekwem, declined to testify as a prosecution witness in the trial of the former governor and two others over an alleged N3.2billion fraud.

Kalu has defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC), while members of the opposition party have continued to accuse the APC government of a one-sided anti-corruption war.

Uwujaren, however, maintained that the alleged corruption case against the former governor is ongoing, stressing that joining the APC folk has no effect on the matter.

He said, “Yes, Orji Kalu has left the PDP to APC; but that does not mean that his case under prosecution has stopped. I can recall that on May 11, the prosecution closed its case in that matter.

“That case is going on and I don’t see how political association can affect the matter that is being prosecuted in court. It has nothing to do with the corruption allegations against him.”

The EFCC spokesman further responded to the allegations of a one-sided anti-corruption fight and asked Nigerians to be wary of the credibility of such accusation.

He explained that the anti-graft agency goes through a process before a case can be prosecuted and such is based on the strength of the evidence it has.

Uwujaren noted that those who are being prosecuted by the EFCC are used to crying foul, insisting that nobody is being prosecuted because he or she belongs to a particular political party.

He said, “If you are alleged to be corrupt, the question we should ask is ‘does the EFCC has the evidence to prosecute you?’ We should not be concerned about whether somebody is in APC or is in PDP.”

“The issue is ‘did you violate the law; did you commit an offence?’ if you commit an offence then the agency should have the liberty to take you to court. It will not be a matter of vindictiveness, it should be a matter that is based purely on evidence and that is what we are doing,” the EFCC spokesman added.

He further disclosed that the EFCC has identified some cases which it believes it has enough evidence to prove in court and it has begun to prosecute them.

Uwujaren reiterated that belonging to a political party does not mean corrupt individuals are immune from prosecution, pointing out that the immunity applies to only the four categories of officials provided by the constitution.

Fraud: EFCC Closes Case Against Raymond Dokpesi

The anti-graft agency, EFCC, on Monday concluded its prosecution of Raymond Dokpesi after calling 14 witnesses.

Mr Dokpesi, founder of Daar Communications, however, told the Federal High Court in Abuja that he would be making a no-case-submission to wrap up his trial.

The owner of Nigeria’s first private radio station is facing trial for the alleged diversion of N2.1 billion received from the office of former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.

His lawyer, Kanu Agabi, made the application at the court on Monday.

The application followed the closing of the case by the prosecutor, the EFCC.

According to Mr Kanu, his client believes that the evidences so far adduced is not sufficient to indict the defendant.

Earlier on Monday, a witness brought in by the prosecution corroborated previous claims of financial diversions into accounts belonging to Daar communications from the office of the former NSA.

The witness, Usman Aliyu, also told the court that part of the fund, N68 million, was used for the construction of Mr Dokpesi’s country home in Edo State.

According to the witness’s statement, N500 million of the said amount was transferred from the account of NSA domiciled in Central Bank of Nigeria to the account of DAAR communications in January 22, 2015.

The witness also said the funds were transferred in various instalments of N500 million, N620 million, N113million, among others.

However the witness during the cross examination by Mr Agabi said that he was brought into the matter this year.

He added that his statement on the investigation was made at the commission on May 24.

The case was adjourned to October 10 for adoption of address.

Mr Dokpesi, who denies the allegations against him, has also accused the federal government of defamation of character.