A Prosecution witness for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Bashir Mohammed has contradicted himself in his testimony on how delivered $140,000 (N50.4 million) cash to former President Olusegun Obasanjo in his residence in Abeokuta.
While testifying in EFCC case against Abdulahi Babalele, son-in-law to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar on Tuesday, Mohammed had said that he personally delivered the money to the former president in his house in Abeokuta.
Mohammed said he got a phone call from Babalele sometime in February, requesting him to deliver the naira equivalent of $140,000 cash to Obasanjo in his residence in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
“When I got there, somebody came and took me inside, where I met former President Obasanjo and delivered the message,” Mohammed said.
However, when the matter continued on Wednesday, Mohammed made a u-turn, saying that he delivered the naira equivalent of $140,000 (N50.4 million) to someone he did not know at Obasanjo’s library in Abeokuta.
The contradiction to his earlier statement on Tuesday came when he was prodded by the defence counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN).
Ozekhome had directed the witness to read from his extra-judicial statement made to the EFCC on March 11. The extra-judicial statement read:
“I collected the dollars cash from Dan Asabe and I called Babalele and he told me to take the money to Ogun State to Obasanjo’s library.
“When I got to the library, I met a man who asked if I am Bashir and I said yes. He asked ‘where is the message from Babalele?’ and I gave him the money. I don’t know the name of the person I gave the money, but I can identify the office.”
Addressing the court, Ozekhome said the defence had established from the portion of extrajudicial statements that they were contradictory. Ozekhome said:
“Yesterday you said you gave Obasanjo $140,000 personally in his house; but in this your statement today, you wrote that you gave the money to a man in the library that you don’t even know his name.
“You told the court yesterday that you changed N50,400,000 that was transferred to you; but in your statement, we have seen N53 million and N52.5 million that was transferred to you.”
The admissibility of some of the statements caused an argument between Ozekhome and the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo.
Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke later adjourned the case till January 29, 2020.