Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has presented the first witness in the trial of former minister of water resources, Mukhtar Shagari alongside four others before Honourable Justice Idrissa Kolo of the Federal High Court sitting in Sokoto.
It will be recalled that the ex-minister was arraigned alongside Senator Abdullahi Mohammed Wali, Nasiru Dalhatu Bafarawa, Ibrahim Gidado and Ibrahim Milgoma, on the 22nd of May, 2018 for allegedly conniving to fraud the sum of N500,000,0000 (Five Hundred Million Naira) only.
The money was part of the $115,000,000 (One Hundred and Fifteen Million Dollars) only allegedly distributed by the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Deizani Allison Madueke for the purpose of influencing the 2015 general election.
However, Shagari alongside his co-defendants pleaded not guilty when the charge was read to them.
In a bid to present proofs, the case was subsequently adjourned up until October 3rd 2018 for the commencement of trial.
As part of the commencement of the trial, prosecution counsel, Toafeeq Lasisi informed the court that he has a witness in court ready to proceed.
The witness, Tasiu Abubakar, narrated how the statements of the defendants watas taken at the Commission’s Kano Zonal Office.
According to the witness, he revealed that he personally took the statement of the first defendant and also witnessed the statement of the second defendant and that of Alhaji Ibrahim Milgoma who is the 5th defendant in the charge.
The prosecution counsel applied to tender the statements identified by the witness but counsels representing the defendants opposed the prayer of the prosecution.
Counsel to Shagari, Ibrahim Abdullahi, argued that the document sought to be tendered is inadmissible because while it was being recorded, his client did not have legal representation.