Wednesday 26 February 2020

EFCC begins Shehu Sani $25,000 fraud trial

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Tuesday presented its first two prosecution witnesses at the Federal

High Court in Abuja in the trial of a former representative of  Kaduna Centralin the Senate, Shehu Sani, on charges of extortion and fraud.

The two witnesses, Beckley Ojo and Elizabeth Nwoka, who are compliance officers with the Guaranty Trust Bank, presented bank documents as exhibits.

None of the documents featured Sani’s name.

The witnesses also told Justice Inyang Ekwo that they did not know  Sani.

The EFCC  on January 27 arraigned  Sani for fraud involving the alleged extortion of $25,000 from a businessman, Alhaji Sani Dauda, who runs A.S.D Motors.

Sani was said to have fraudulently represented the money as a  bribe for “the Chief Justice of Nigeria” and acting Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu.

The offences was  said to have been committed in November 2019, were allegedly contrary to and punishable under section 1(1) and (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, No. 14 of 2006.

The prosecution led by Abba Mohammed at the opening of trial presented Ojo and Nwoka as the first two prosecution witnesses.

 Led in evidence, Ojo, who said he had been working with the bank for 13 years, told the court that part of her roles was to play a liaison role between the bank and law enforcement agencies.

 The witness said the sum of N3, 590, 000 was credited into one Sheriff Zelani Shanono’s account from the A.S.D. Motors Nigeria Limited’s  GTB account on December 2, 2019.

 Documents relating to the ASD Motor’s account were tendered by the prosecution and admitted as exhibits.

 Under cross-examination by Sani’s lawyer, Abdul Ibrahim (SAN), the witness was asked if Sheriff Zelani Shanono was Shehu Sani, Ojo said, “I wouldn’t know.”

 Testifying as the second prosecution witness, Nwoka said he had been one of the bank’s Compliance Officer for about eight months.

 He said there was debit transaction of N5m on the ASD Motor’s account on November 20, 2019 in favour of the Zenith Bank account of Abubakar Ahmad of Zenith Bank.

 He also acknowledged a debit transaction of N3, 590, 000 on A.S.D. Motors Nigeria Ltd. on December 2, 2019 in favour of the GTB account of Sheriff Z. Shanono.

 Under cross-examination by defence lawyer, the prosecution witness said,“I don’t know the defendant.”

 The two witnesses were discharged and the judge subsequently adjourned the trial till Wednesday.

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