Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The inability to obtain vital documents from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Thursday stalled proceedings in the criminal trial of former Senator Shehu Sani.
The former senator that represented Kaduna Central at the Senate is standing trial before the court on a two-count charge filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The Commission alleges that Sani engaged in name-dropping and obtaining $25,000 from Alhaji Sani Dauda of ASD Motors, Kaduna, under a false pretence that he would use the money to bribe the Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, to shield Dauda from EFCC’s investigation and prompt the Commission to arrest and prosecute one Abubakar Musa, who has an issue with Dauda.
When the case was called on Thursday, the prosecutor, Abba Mohammed, said that though his ninth witness was in court with about 95 per cent of the exhibits required, he would be unable to conclude with the witness.
Mohammed said the $25,000 which Sani allegedly collected from Dauda under false pretence but later refunded, is being kept at the CBN as an exhibit.
He said he was unable to retrieve the money the previous day for the purpose of tendering it as an exhibit through his ninth witness.
‘I have my witness in court, but I was not able to retrieve the monetary exhibit, which is being kept with the CBN.
‘I have 95 per cent of the exhibits I need to tender through these witnesses. The only constraint is the money, the $25,000 which is with the CBN,’ Mohammed said.
Following the prosecutor’s submission, defence lawyer, Abdul Ibrahim, SAN, said he was aware of Mohammed’s predicament.
Upon the agreement by lawyers to both parties for an. adjournment, Justice Inyang Ekwo proceeded to adjourned till October 19 for the continuation of trial.
On Wednesday, Dauda’s son, Mohammed, while testifying as the seventh prosecution witness, gave details of how audio and video recordings were made of the interactions between former Senator Sani and Dauda.
Mohammed said the day Sani informed his father that he would return the money, his father called him to set up a recording device, as advised by the EFCC.
‘On that day, he (Sani) came to meet my father in his office here in Abuja. Before he went into the office, I set a recorder in my dad’s room and left to my own residence.
‘After he (Sani) had left, my dad called me to show him how to stop the recording device and I came and showed him.
‘In the recording, he (Sani) came to beg. My dad told me what transpired when he came, that he was begging him not to disclose the case and to do whatever he could to forgive him. My dad then told him that the case was already with the EFCC and that he (Sani) had already been invited.
‘On either December 26 or 27, 2019, the senator came to my father’s house in Kaduna. When I heard he was coming, my dad asked me to set up the recording device again. I set it up and left.’