A judge of the Federal High Court in Abuja, Inyang Ekwo, has warned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), against distortion of facts in respect of the ongoing trial of a former Kaduna Central senator, Shehu Sani, for fraud.
Newsmen report that the judge issued the warning after Mr Sani’s lawyer, Abdul Ibrahim, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, complained of an EFCC’s tweet via its Twitter handle, about the previous day’s proceedings.
Ekwo said, “The court of public opinion is not a court of coordinate jurisdiction. It is this court that has the last say at the end of this matter. Not the court of public opinion.
“From the beginning of this case, I have said the records of this case are public records and it can be obtained by anybody including the media.”
“I don’t want to hear about distorted publications again,” Ekwo added.
EFCC had on January 27, 2020 arraigned the former senator on fraud charges involving alleged extortion of $25,000 from Sani Dauda, the chairperson of A.S.D Motors.
The commission alleged that Sani fraudulently claimed to Dauda that the money was to be given to “the Chief Justice of Nigeria” and then Acting Chair of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, as bribe for an alleged case involving Dauda.
The prosecution’s 10th witness, Bako Aliyu, who is an EFCC investigator, had testified on Tuesday that Sani hurriedly returned the $25,000 he allegedly extorted from Dauda, after the complainant reported the case to the commission.
At the resumed hearing on Wednesday, the defence counsel continued with the cross-examination of the prosecution witness.
Aliyu said the commission retrieved from MTN service providers the call log showing conversations between Mr Sani and Mr Dauda.
He said the call log was , however, not tendered before the court as evidence.
When asked if the EFCC solicited the support of the police to investigate the case, considering the fact that Ibrahim Magu, former acting chair of the EFCC was also accused, the witness said no.
After the 10th witness was discharged from the witness box, the prosecuting counsel attempted to call another witness but the judge refused.
The judge insisted that Ekele Iheanacho, the EFCC counsel who had been handling the matter, should continue with the case.
“Where is Mr Iheanacho? He should come back and do this case. I’m not going to allow you. I don’t want my proceedings to have controversies at the end of the day,” the judge said.
The judge adjourned the matter till May 24.