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EFCC witness recants allegation against Obasanjo

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Prosecution witness for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Bashir Mohammed, has made a volte-face in his allegation against President Olusegun Obasanjo.

In the continuation of his evidence yesterday against Abdulahi Babalele, son-in-law to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the witness said he delivered the naira equivalent of $140,000 (N50.4 million) to someone he did not know at Obasanjo’s library in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

His statement followed the prodding from the defence counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), who directed the witness to read from his extra-judicial statement made to the EFCC on March 11. 

Part of the statement reads, “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.

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“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.”

Addressing the court, Ozekhome said the defence had established from the portion of extra-judicial statements that they were contradictory. 

“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,” Ozekhome pointed out.

Following arguments between Ozekhome and the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, about the admissibility of some statements, Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke adjourned the case till January 29, 2020.


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