Godwin Tsa, Abuja
A prosecution witness, Alhaji Sani Dauda, on Monday told a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja that a former Senator, Shehu Sani, had asked him to give N1 million each to four judges to ‘help’ his case.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is prosecuting Sani on a two-count charge of bribery and Advanced Fee For (419) before Justice Inyang Ekwo.
The fraud, according to prosecution, involved alleged extortion of $25,000 from a businessman in November 2019.
The ex-senator was also said to have fraudulently represented the money as bribe for ‘the Chief Justice of Nigeria’ and the acting Chairman of EFCC.
Speaking through an interpreter, Dauda, who was being led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Abba Mohammed, narrated how he was arrested by the police with his entire family and released on December 15, 2019.
The witness stated that Sani visited him after his release to ‘sympathise with me and thereafter called me that he wanted to see me.
‘When we met at my house in Maitama, he told me that I needed to give money to some judges to help my case.
‘He told me that he spoke to the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) on my case.
‘He told me to speak to the CJN but I told him I will also like to see the CJN but he said that the CJN will not want people visiting his house since security operatives, including the Department of State Services (DSS), are watching who goes in and out.
‘He then made a call and I spoke to the person on the phone and the person told me that Sani spoke to him about my case and he has spoken to four judges that when my matter comes to them, they should inform him.
‘Sani said that there are four judges that we should give N1 million each but I told him that I was already in this predicament and can’t give out money.
‘He also told me that he was told that Abubakar also had a case at the EFCC and the prosecutor was asking for N1 million, a total of N5 million and I told him I didn’t have money today and he should come back the next day.
‘I then called a Bureau De Change Operator, Abubakar to bring the money to me.’
While the witness was trying to explain how he raised the money, converting dollars to naira, the judge said that he was not satisfied with the interpreter.
The interpreter said at a point that he did not know how to interpret what the witness had said just as he had hard interpreted the figure the witness was quoting.
The judge adjourned the matter until July 7 and ordered that another interpreter be provided.
Earlier, Mr Bala Ismael, another prosecution witness and an employee of Dauda, had told the court that the former senator visited his boss five times before the COVID-19 lockdown.
He, however, said that he was not privy to their discussion and did not know what Sani left with in a brown envelope.