Court questions EFCC over poor prosecution of corruption cases

Justice Mojisola Dada of a Special Offences Court in Ikeja has questioned the integrity of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) in the fight against corruption following a poor prosecution of cases.

The judge raised the concern during the trial of a former Executive Director of the Punch Newspaper, Azubike Ishekwene, and Olalekan Abdul.

The duo is being tried on an amended 15-count charge bordering on forgery, conspiracy to forge, using false documents, making documents without authority and obtaining money by false pretence.

During the trial, Justice Dada queried the EFCC counsel, Mr Idris Mohammed, over the prosecution of the case and noted the agency’s lack of diligent prosecution of corruption cases.

The judge noted that when she looked at an exhibit (a bank statement of account from 2010 to 2019) which was presented by the EFCC, she discovered that records from 2010 to 2012 were missing.

She recalled instances where there were disparities in the information in the charge sheet and confessional statements of defendants being prosecuted by the EFCC.

The judge also pointed out that in a plea bargain agreement the EFCC had brought before her the previous day, the information in the charge stated an alleged fraud of 2700 USD while the defendant’s confessional statement indicated fraud of 10,700 USD.

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