N5.1bn Fraud: Court Concludes Trial Of Ex-Jonathan Aide

By Victor Ernest With Agency Report.

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has concluded trial-within-trial in the alleged N5.1billion fraud charge brought against Warampo Owei-Dudafa, an ex-aide of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had arraigned Dudafa alongside Joseph Iwejuo on 23 counts bordering on conspiracy and concealment of crime proceeds of which they pleaded not guilty.

The judge had ordered the conduct of the trial-within-trial to determine whether the statements written by Dudafa and his co-accused, Iwejuo Joseph Nna, at the commission’s office were voluntarily made or not.

At the resumed hearing of the case on Tuesday, Dudafa’s co-accused, (Iwejuo Joseph Nna), concluded his evidence, insisting that his statements at the EFCC’s office were written under duress.

Under cross-examination by EFCC’s lawyer, Mr Idris Mohammed, the accused said that even though he was granted administrative bail by the commission while in its custody, he was never allowed to go home.

He said: “On the second day of my detention at EFCC’s office, I was told I will be given administrative bail and I asked my family to arrange for a lawyer for me to hasten the process.

”One lawyer, Mr Johnson, eventually came and he had some discussions with an EFCC’s investigator, Mr Orji, on how to perfect my bail, but Orji told him that I can never be released because I will run away if I should regain my freedom and the lawyer eventually left in annoyance,” he added.

A request by Nna’s lawyer, Sunday Abumere, for an adjournment to allow him invite his last witness was turned down by the court which fixed April 6, for parties to adopt their written addresses.

Some of the companies allegedly used by the duo in committing the offences include Seagate Property Development, Investment Ltd, Avalon Global Property Development Company Ltd, Pluto Property and Investment Company Ltd and Rotate Interlink Services Ltd.

Others are Ibejige Services Ltd, DE Jakes Fast Food, Restaurant Nigeria Ltd and Ebiwise Resources.

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