A prosecution witness, Alhaji Sani Dauda, told the Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday how a former Kaduna Central Senator, Shehu Sani, allegedly asked him for N4m to be delivered to judges.
Dauda alleged that Sani claimed that the N4m was to be delivered to the Chief Justice of Nigeria who would retain N1m and give three other unnamed judges N1m each.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had on January 27 arraigned the former senator for fraud involving alleged extortion of $25,000 from a businessman, Dauda, who runs A.S.D Motors.
Sani was said to have fraudulently represented the money as bribe for “the Chief Justice of Nigeria” and the Acting Chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu.
Testifying as the sixth prosecution witness in the case on Monday, Dauda, who was led in evidence by EFCC’s lawyer, Mr. Abba Mohammed, said he was arrested sometimes in November 2019 by the police for an allegation he did not disclose, and was released on November 14, 2019.
The witness who spoke in Hausa and his testimony interpreted by a court official to English and vice-versa, said Sani introduced the issue of the money meant for the CJN some days after he visited to sympathise with family over the police arrest.
“After he left, he called me on November 19, 2019 that he wanted to see me. I told him to speak on phone. He said it was not a matter that could be discussed on phone that he wanted to see me.
“I left that day, and I went straight to my house in Maitama, Abuja. He came that day to meet me in my house.
“He told me that he had met with CJN and discussed my matter with him. He said he would connect me with the CJN to talk to him on phone. I said I would not want to talk to him but I would like to go and see him.
“He said the CJN would not want me to come to his house because of security like DSS at his house. Then he made a call. He now handed the phone to me and said it was the CJN.
”I spoke to the person on the phone and the person told me that Sani spoke to him about my case and he has spoken to four judges that when my matter comes to them, they should inform him.
“Sani said that there are four judges that we should give N1m each but I told him that I was already in this predicament and could not give out money.
“He also told me that he was told that, my son-in-law, Abubakar also had a case at the EFCC and the prosecutor was asking for N1 million, a total of N5m and I told him I didn’t have money today and he should come back the next day.”
“I then called a Bureau De Change Operator, Abubakar to bring the money to me.”
The testimony was cut short by the judge, who said he was not comfortable with the interpreter’s job.
Earlier, Dauda’s domestic worker, Bala Ismail, testified as the fifth prosecution witness, telling the judge how Sani visited his boss five times.
He however could not tell the period of the ex-senator’s visits.
He also said he was not aware of what Sani discussed with the business on any of the occasions but that he saw the former senator leave the house with a brown envelope on three of the occasions.
Ismail who also spoke in Hausa, said the last time Sani came, Dauda came out of the house to say to him and other domestic staff members that Sani had “finally returned his money”.
Asked by the prosecuting counsel, Ismail said the last time Sani came to the house was before COVID-19 lockdown.
But during cross-examination by defence lawyer, Abdul Ibrahim, the witness contradicted himself to say it happened after the COVID-19 lockdown.
He also said he was not present when Sani allegedly returned money to Dauda, adding that he was only told by his boss.
Justice Inyang Ekwo adjourned till Tuesday for Dauda to continue his testimony that was suspended on Monday.