An operative of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Usman Zakari today, informed A Federal High Court, Lagos, that the former Minister Federal Capital Authority (FCT), Oloye Jumoke Akinjide, who is standing trial before the court on alleged N650 million fraud, freely gave statement to his commission during after her interrogation.
Zakari stated this while being question during trial-within-trial, by Akinjide’s lawyer, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN).
Akinjide alongside a former Senator,who represented Oyo Central Senatorial District Ayo Adeseun and a woman leader of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in Oyo State, Chief Olarenwaju Otiti, over the alleged crime.
When asked by Ayorinde (SAN), if after the interview of Akinjide, the operative put questions to her and ordered her to write as dictated, Zakari responded and said “that was not how it was done. She volunteered to put all that she said during interview into statement. She wrote the statement in the presence of her lawyer”.
The EFCC operative also denied putting Akinjide under arrest after the 20 minutes interview of August 9, 2016. Adding that though, she has no right to walk away after the interview.
Zakari also stated that before Akinjide wrote the statement, she was cautioned, and that she wrote the statement in his presence, two of his colleagues, Tosin Owobo, Oluwatoyin Ige, Akinjide’s lawyer, Honourable Hamed Pategi, and her lawyer.
When asked if his team strictly follow training procedure to interrogate the accused, the operative said: “we followed the procedure. Am the team leader, I relied on my training and experience I gathered.
When also questioned of the time he join EFCC, and where he had his training, he said he joined the commission in 2004/2005, and that before he joined the commission, he was a civilian.
He also told the court that he was trained at the National Crime Agency (NCA), United Kingdom, and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Nigeria, in 2015.
The operative also told the court that none of his team members, interview or put questions to the accused, and that the accused arrived his commission at about noon on August 9, 2016, but he can’t recalled when she left.
The three accused persons were alleged to have conspired together and directly take possession of N650million, which they reasonably ought to have known was part of proceeds of an unlawful act, and without going through a financial institution.
The accused persons allegedly received the money former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, named in the charge as being at large, ahead of the 2015 general elections.
The alleged offence contravenes the Money Laundering Act. The defendants pleaded not guilty when they were arraigned on January 16.
The matter has been adjourned till June 5 and 6, for continuation of Trial-Within-Trial of the operative.