A witness, Usman Zakari on Monday informed a Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos how Mr Dele Belgore (SAN) and a former Minister of Planning, Prof Abubakar Sulaiman, admitted collecting N450 million from the $115million allegedly shared by former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, to rig the 2015 general elections.
The witness, who is also an EFCC investigator, testified before Justice Rilwan Mohammed Aikawa, while being cross-examined by Belgore’s lawyer, Ebun Shofunde (SAN). Zakari had earlier made the revelation during his examination-in-chief by the EFCC’s lawyer, Rotimi Oyedepo.
The witness said: “The two defendants (Belgore and Sulaiman) admitted signing the receipt of payment with which they collected the sum of N450 million.
The first defendant (Belgore) particularly admitted disbursing the money.” However, Zakari said this was not contained in the statement he wrote upon the conclusion of investigation into the matter.
The EFCC’s lawyer, Rotimi Oyedepo, however hinted of a possible amendment of the charge against the two defendants. He said the amendment is necessary to accommodate all evidences at the disposal of the commission.
He said, “We intend to amend the charge in line with the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015 and the evidences with us. The law is that we can amend anytime before judgement is delivered.” While not opposing the amendment, defence lawyers, Ebun Shofunde (SAN) and Tunji Ayanlaja (SAN) sought for time to study the amended charge anytime it is served on them by the prosecution. Further hearing in the trial has been adjourned to November 24.
Peter Fowoyo, Lagos