19 May 2017

Nigeria: EFCC Amends Charges Against Former Air Vice Marshal

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Friday in an Abuja High Court, Maitama applied to amend charges against a retired Air Vice Marshal, Alkali Mawu.

Mr. Mawu, former Air Officer, Training Command, Kaduna, was on June 21 arraigned before Justice Salisu Garba on a three-count charge of receiving gratification.

The EFCC had alleged that Mr. Mawu collected a cash gift in the sum of N5.9 million for the purchase of a Range Rover Evoque as a member of Procurement and Planning Committee of Defence.

Also included are two vehicles (Ford Expedition SUV and Jaguar XF Saloon) valued at N15 million and N12 million from Societe D' Equipments Internationaux Nigeria Ltd., a contractor with the Nigerian Air Force.

At the resumed sitting on Friday, Slyvanus Tahir, the prosecuting counsel, prayed the court for the withdrawal of former charges of the three counts filed on March 30 to four.

Mr. Tahir told the court that the amended charge was filed on April 24, and sought the leave of the court to withdraw the one filed on March 30 due to error.

He said that it was in pursuant to sections 216 and 217 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, that he was not going to call another witness based on the amendment.

The defence counsel, Adedayo Adedeji, did not object. He rather told the court that he also filed a motion on May 17 seeking the release of Mr. Mawu's international passport to enable him travel.

He told the court that Mr. Mawu would be travelling to Mecca for Umrah (lesser Haji) lasting from June 6 to June 8.

Mr. Adedeji reminded the court that Mr. Mawu had been granted similar prayer before and he never defaulted.

He therefore prayed the court to grant his application which bordered on his right to religion.

On Dec. 14, the prosecution had called four witnesses to testify and tender documents in evidence after which they closed their case.

However, on February 22, Mr. Mawu through his counsel, Joseph Daudu opened a defence with him as the first witness.

The judge, Salisu Garba, after listening to their submissions adjourned till May 26 to rule on both applications and July 10 for continuation of the defence witness testimony. (NAN)

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