Court insists on retraction of EFCC’s statement on Dasuki’s aide
• Agency re-arraigns Arisekola’s son, others for alleged theft
Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the Federal High Court, Abuja has insisted that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) must retract its statement in which it misrepresented the court’s proceedings.
This followed the agency’s misrepresentation in the trial of Col. Nicholas Ashinze, a former aide to former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki and seven others in an alleged N1.5bn fraud.
Ashinze is a serving Army Colonel, whom the EFCC had wrongly referred to as a retired military officer. It had also wrongly stated that the defendants were being tried for N36.8billion fraud instead of N1.5billion.
Justice Kolawole dismissed the oral submission by the counsel to EFCC, Ofem Uket that it had retracted the publication. But Uket failed to produce any documents or evidence before the court to ascertain his claims.
Justice Kolawole had at the last sitting ordered that the alleged N36bn fraud contained in a statement issued by Wilson Uwajuren be retracted. He also ordered the media house that published the story to appear before the court to explain why it should not be disciplined for misrepresenting the court’s proceedings through the EFCC’s statement.
Uket, at the resumed sitting yesterday informed the court that the anti-graft agency had already retracted the statement, which was published in some national dailies on April 12, 2017.
However, Uket could not furnish the court with a copy of the retraction claim as a proof. He therefore, urged the court to resume the trial of the defendant on the grounds that the order issued against the EFFC had fully been complied with.
However, Colonel Ashinze’s counsel, Ernest Nwoye, insisted that the EFCC had not obeyed the court order on the ground that it did not present any evidence or document before the court as a proof of compliance.
Counsel to the third defendant, Paul Erokoro aligned himself with the submissions of Nwoye and urged the judge to sustain the order of the retraction until the evidence of compliance was presented.
Justice Kolowale, in his ruling, disagreed with Uket’s oral evidence and insisted that the March 21 order be fully complied with.
Meanwhile, the EFCC yesterday re-arraigned Abdullahi Alao, the son of the late Abdulazeez Arisekola Alao and the deceased Managing Director of Majope Investment, Opeyemi Ajuyah for alleged fraud and forgery in fuel subsidy deals.
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