I was Tutored, Forced to Write Statement, Ex-Air Force Chief Tells Court
The trial of a former Chief of Administration, Nigerian Air Force (NAF) headquarters, Air Vice Marshal Mohammed Alkali Mamu (Rtd), resumed on Monday with the accused entering the witness box to testify in his own trial.
Mamu told the trial judge, Justice Salisu Garba of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) that he was tutored and teleguided in making his statement by the EFCC.
The Rtd Air Vice Marshall, led in evidence by his counsel, Chief Joseph Daudu, SAN, narrated how the EFCC suppressed part of his statement and also threatened to call his two daughters should he failed to refund back the money he is being accused of collecting as bribe.
He said despite been accompanied to the EFCC’s office, he requested that his lawyers be present during his interrogation and his subsequent writing of his statement was turned down on the grounds that all they were after was the recovery of funds.
Mamu said, though he was accompanied to the EFCC’s office by one Commander Sunday Jigawa who was at that time NAF Deputy Director, yet the operatives refused to allow him be by his side.
He said, “The first statement I wrote is not before this court. The additional statement marked n1 and n4 obtained from statement-1 was removed from the statement I made.” “Again I noticed that the supporting documents I submitted both in statement-1 and statement-2 are not before this court.”
While insisting that he was innocent of the charges brought against him by the EFCC, the defendant prayed the court to discharge and acquit him of all the four charges.
Mamu, who told the court that his vehicles impounded by the EFCC are still in the custody of the anti-graft agency, therefore, prayed the court for an order to return the vehicles and or replaced them if they were found to be in a bad shape.
He further prayed the court to compel the EFCC operatives to return the sum of $300,000 and N5.9million they obtained from him.
Evidences of transactions he had with Hima Abubakar of Societe D’Equipments Internationaux Nigeria Limited (the company EFCC alleged he received the bribe from) were presented and tendered as exhibit.
Meanwhile, the prosecuting counsel, Sylvanus Tahir who had vehemently opposed the tendering of the 2nd document said, the documents were never part of the proceedings.
He said that the document sought to be tendered which is a letter to the Attorney General of the Federation was not addressed to the EFCC.
Tahir, wondered why a document addressed to the AGF will be tendered to a different agency of government and added that they are gross violation of Section102,103 and 104 of the Evidence Act and therefore cannot be admissible.
At the end of his evidence, Justice Garba adjourned to 13 and 14 December for ruling on the objections of prosecution counsel to the admissibility of some of the documents and for cross examination by the prosecution.
Marshal Mohammed Alkali Mamu is facing a four count charge of bribery preferred against him by the EFCC.
He is been accused of receiving the sums of $300,000 and N5.9m from one Hima Abubakar of Societe D’Equipments Internationaux Nigeria Limited.
But he claimed that the funds were for covert operations in combating the war against Boko Haram.
“I was in Ukraine when this covert and sensitive military assignment was given to one Hima Abubakar of Societe D’Equipments Internationaux Nigeria Limited (the company EFCC said he received the bribe from) by the NSA. Abubakar identified three mercenary fighter pilots, soldiers of fortune and veterans of many wars who were willing to take up this job,” he said.
He said he was ordered by the Chief of Air Staff to liaise with Abubakar to facilitate the medical examination and process entry visas into Nigeria for the three Ukrainian mercenary pilots that were coming to fly the MI35P helicopters.
He added that due to the undercover nature of the assignments, transactions and documentations were mainly “in pseudo or disguised form, including monies and properties which form part of this charge against me.”
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