A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered trial-within-trial in the money laundering case involving a former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke, SAN, and an oil mogul, Aliyu Abubakar.
The duo were being prosecuted on a 14-count charge bordering on money laundering.
At the resumed hearing of the case at court 6 on Monday before Justice Inyang Ekwo, the eighth prosecution witness, Ibrahim Ahmed, was called to the witness box where he affirmed the evidence under oath.
He confirmed that the documents tendered as evidence were the statements of the defendants that he took during the time of their arrest.
While identifying the statements, Mr Ahmed told the court that the statements were taken and recorded before their lawyer.
The defence counsel, Paul Erokoro, SAN, therefore challenged the admissibility of the statement that it was not made voluntarily.
He therefore applied orally for a trial within trial on the ground that the statement of the second defendant, Mr Aliyu Abubakar, was taken under duress.
The prosecution counsel, Bala Sanga did not object to the application moved by the defence counsel stating that they were ready for trial within trial.
The judge therefore granted the application and adjourned the matter Tuesday, December 7.
The anti-graft agency had alleged that Adoke had sometime in August 2013, in Abuja, accepted a cash payment of the dollar equivalent of N300million from Aliyu, and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 16 (2)(b) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 (as amended).
Whereas Abubakar was also accused of accepting a cash payment of the sum of $4million from Faman Holdings Limited, through one Abdulhakeem Uthman Mustapha, in September 2013, the prosecution, told the court that Adoke made structured cash payment in tranches into his Unity Bank Plc Account No. 0020153263.
The prosecution maintained that the former AGF made cash payments that exceeded the approved threshold amounts, outside a financial institution.
Meanwhile, the court equally adjourned to Tuesday to hear another money laundering case the EFCC filed against Abubakar, Malabu Oil & Gas Limited and six companies with respect to transactions relating to the disputed Oil Prospecting Licence, OPL 245.
The companies accused of complicity in the about $1.1billion fraud, are; A Group Construction Company Limited; Rocky Top Resources Limited; Megatech Engineering Limited; Novel Properties and Development Company Limited, Imperial Union Limited and Carlin International Nigeria Limited.