Courts discharges ex- NAF chief of gratification charges
An FCT High Court Maitama on Friday discharged a former Chief of Administration of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), Air Vice Marshal Mohammed Alkali Mamu (Rtd) standung trial on charges of receiving of gratification.
Mamu was charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on June 21, 2016 for allegedly collecting a cash gift of 300,000 dollars and N5.9 million for the purchase of a Range Rover Evoque.
EFCC also alleged that he received two vehicles, Ford Expedition SUV and Jaguar XF Saloon valued at N15million and N12million respectively from Societe D’ Equipments Internationaux (SEI) Nigeria Limited while facilitating a covert assignment of the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) on the war against terrorism.
Delivering judgment, Justice Salisu Garba held that with the preponderance of evidence before the court, the prosecution failed to establish a case of gratification against the defendant.
He also added that the prosecution also failed to prove that Himma Abubakar of SEI gave the alleged gratification.
The judge held that the fourth prosecution witness confirmed that Abubakar’s statement was not taken by the anti-graft commission.
The witness confirmed that EFCC knew that Abubakar was in Niger Republic as at the time of interrogation but failed to provide him or his statement as a vital witness.
Garba held that the failure of the prosecution to call Abubakar as a witness put a huge dent on some of the evidence of the prosecution.
The judge held that while the prosecution told the court that Mamu received the bribe while supervising a contract of NAF, the evidence of the first prosecution witness distanced NAF from any contract with the said contractor.
Garba further held that the prosecution did not comply with the provisions of Sections 15 and 17(2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) as regards the extrajudicial statement of Mamu, which was tendered as evidence.
“This lack of compliance is fatal to the case of the prosecution.
“It is thus the view of the court that the purported statements of the defendant tendered by the prosecution are invalid ”
“The defendant is hereby discharged and acquitted on the four-count charge” he held. (NAN )