Home Africa Nigeria: Witness testifies in ex-FCT Minister Akinjide in money laundering case

Nigeria: Witness testifies in ex-FCT Minister Akinjide in money laundering case

An investigator with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Usman Zakari, has told a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos that a N10million bank draft received from Mr Aliyu Pategi, the husband of a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Jumoke Akinjide, was part of the N650million allegedly traced to her and two others.

Zakari made the disclosure before Justice Muslim Hassan on Monday while testifying in a trial-within-trial ordered by the court.

The trial was to determine the veracity of claims by the former minister and her co-defendants that all their statements to the anti-graft agency were made under duress.

While being cross-examined by Akinjide’s lawyer, Mr Bolaji Ayorinde, the witness said the N10million deposit payment was not the condition upon which Akinjide was released.

He added that the money was paid on August 10, 2016, when Pategi accompanied his wife to the commission’s office.

Zakari said, “On August 9, 2016, the first defendant (Akinjide) and her husband, Aliyu Pategi, were present throughout. I did not ask Pategi to make payment to ensure the release of the first defendant.

“Pategi reported to the EFCC’s office on August 10, 2016, alongside his wife. Neither myself nor any of member of my team interviewed him on the said date. The N10million was paid by the first defendant’s husband on her behalf and the remaining N640million has not been paid”, he stated.

When told by Akinjide’s lawyer that the balance has been paid, Zakari said: “I am aware that the sum of N640million was received from the first defendant in Stanbic IBTC bank draft in another case investigated by a team tagged, HOPST, which was headed by one, Shuaibu Shehu”.

Justice Hassan consequently fixed October 18 for the continuation of the trial.

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