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50m Bribe: EFCC Witness Contradicts Self In Claims He Gave Atiku's Money To Obasanjo

Deen

Nov. 14, 2019

The admissibility of the statement by Bashir Mohammed, the EFCC witness, that he delivered N50.4m to former President Olusegun Obasanjo — close to the 2019 presidential elections — on the request of Abdulahi Babalele, former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar's son-in-law, has been questioned — due to contradiction.
The contradiction arose as a result of the witness' double statements with regards to who the money was delivered to, as pointed out by the defense coulsel Mike Ozekhome (SAN).
The witness, while testifying against Babalele on Tuesday had said he personally delivered the money to the former president in his house in Abeokuta.
But during the resumed hearing on Wednesday, Ozekhome raised question when Mohammed made a volte-face, saying that he delivered the naira equivalent of $140,000 (N50.4 million) to someone he did not know at Obasanjo’s library in Abeokuta.
Ozekhome had directed the witness to read from his extra-judicial statement made to the EFCC on March 11.
The extra-judicial statement read: “I collected the dollars cash from Dan Asabe and I called Babalele and he told me to take the money to Ogun State to Obasanjo’s library.
“When I got to the library, I met a man who asked if I am Bashir and I said yes. He asked ‘where is the message from Babalele?’ and I gave him the money. I don’t know the name of the person I gave the money, but I can identify the office.”
The defense counsel pointed out the contradiction and doubted the admissibility of the statement which immediately led to a heated debate between him and the EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo.
Ozekhome said: “Yesterday you said you gave Obasanjo $140,000 personally in his house; but in this your statement today, you wrote that you gave the money to a man in the library that you don’t even know his name.
“You told the court yesterday that you changed N50,400,000 that was transferred to you; but in your statement, we have seen N53 million and N52.5 million that was transferred to you.”
Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke later adjourned the case till January 29, 2020.
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