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Abdulmuttalab: Nigerian-American jury abandons case over personal security


The National Identity Card scam case involving two former federal ministers, presided over by Justice Mudasiru Oniyangi of an Abuja federal high court has been adjourned for the third time.

The first time it was mentioned in court was on September 6, 2011 and September 23.

When the case came up last Friday, the court did not sit but the judge sent a message through his registrar to inform parties to the case that the judgement was not ready and that they would be informed when it was ready.

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission had in 2007 arraigned late Sunday Afolabi, the then Minister of Internal Affairs and his Minister of State, Dr. Mohammed Shaata for violating provisions of the ICPC Act 2000.

During the trial which suffered several adjournments, the prosecution called four witnesses and tendered several exhibits.

One of the key prosecution witnesses, Mr. Ike-Chukwu Odoe, a director in the National Civic Registration Centre of the Federal Ministry of Internal Affairs told the court how he gave money to Shaata.

He testified that when he was discussing the need to procure typing sheets for the conduct of the National ID card project with the late Afolabi in his office, the accused person solicited for the assistance of the late minister to be involved in the project.

Odoe said Shaata told the late minister that he needed money to take care of the people of his constituency in Taraba State.

The witness testified further that it was at that stage that he too reminded the late minister about his pending retirement and the late minister agreed that the two of them should work on the project.

Odoe told the court that it was the minister of state who directed him to look for a contractor that would handle the project and he got a contractor called Royal Estate and Investment Company limited.

He informed the presiding judge that he later gave the contract for the supply of 62,000 reams of typing sheets valued at about N36m to the contractor as agreed by the two of them.

The witness specifically informed the trial judge that out of the contract sum, he gave the minister of state the sum of N15m.

The accused in his defence testified that he did not benefit from the contract in any way. He stated that the witness came to him to assist him to get a ministerial appointment and demanded for N15m for mobilisation of the party leadership.

The case started four years ago.


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Posted by on Oct 9 2011. Filed under Headlines. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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