By Ralph Izopu
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Monday, presented two additional witnesses against Sen. Shehu Sani who is standing trial before Justice I.E Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
One of them was Alhaji Sani Dauda (ASD), Chairman of ASD Group of Companies and a board member, Peugeot Automobile Ltd and a plaintiff in the criminal matter.
Sen Sani is being prosecuted by the EFCV on a two-count criminal charge bordering on name-dropping, influence-peddling and obtaining the sum of USD$25,000 from Alhaji Sani Dauda (ASD), under a false pretence.
The anti-graft agency alleged that the former lawmaker had pretended to ASD that he would use the money to bribe the Acting Chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, to shield the plaintiff from EFCC’s investigation and prosecution and to prompt the commission to arrest and prosecute Dauda’s estranged son-in-law, one Abubakar Musa.
At the resumed sitting of the matter on Monday , Dauda who testified as Prosecution Witness six (PW 6), told the court how Shehu Sani allegedly blackmailed him into parting with the said sum.
“Shehu Sani came to sympathize with me on November 12, 2020 when the husband of my daughter, Abubkar Musa divorced her about three years ago and we had issue where the Inspector- General of police arrested and detained me and my family. Then, Sani told me that he was going to Abuja and promised to help me out of the case.
“When he reached Abuja, he called me on November 19, 2019 that he wanted to see me, and that the issue will not be discussed on phone, that it was better we met in person. I then came to Abuja and Sani came to my Maitama residence where he informed me that he spoke with the CJN (Chief Justice of Nigeria) about my matter. I then told him that I wanted to meet the CJN in person, but Sani told me that he can’t see me because the DSS and other security men were watching his moves; hence, he can only communicate with me on phone.
“I communicated with someone purported to be CJN, where he asked me if I knew any judge, I told him no, then he said he gave Sani message, and that he will relate it with me. That’s where Sani told me about four judges whom the CJN assigned to help me in my case.
“He further said I should give him some money to sort out the judges, a million naira for each of them and one million naira for an operative of the EFCC to prosecute my in-law Musa because he has case with EFCC, making the total, N5 million.
“I then informed him that I don’t have money, but he insisted, leaving me with no choice but to call one Abubakar, a bureau de change operator the following day to give me five million naira, equivalent of $13,937.
“Then I had some dollars with me because I just returned from the lesser hajj. I put them all together to make $15,000,” he stated.
Shehu Sani, he further stated, informed him that he has an axe to grind with Musa, having allegedly identified him as among the people who ensured that he did not return to the Senate in 2019.
Earlier, Prosecution Witness six (PW 5), Bala Ismail, who has been ASD’s domestic staff for 20 years, narrated to the court how Shehu Sani came to ASD’s residence in Maitama, Abuja, five times and left with an envelope, which he said, he didn’t know the contents on all of the occasions.