N5.2bn scam: Court admits alleged confessional statement of accused

By IAfrica
In Nigeria
Apr 1st, 2014
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An FCT High Court on Tuesday admitted an alleged confessional statement of former Managing Director, Nigeria Airspace Management Agency, Rowland Iyayi, into  evidence.

The accused allegedly admitted the N5.2 billion aviation contract scam in the statement.

Iyayi, alongside former Minister of Aviation, Babalola Borishade; his former Personal Assistant, Tunde Dairo; and an Australian, George Eider, is facing a 15-count charge of diverting N5.2 billion Aviation Safe Tower contract.

Delivering a ruling, Justice Abubakar Umar held that the prosecution witness, DSP Ruben Omosigbo, was competent to tender the confessional statement in evidence.

Umar said the witness had testified that he collected the statement from the investigating officer, Mr Danjuma Mohammed, before he died.

According to him, the witness must be in better position to identify and tender the statement in evidence, following the death of the investigation officer.

Umar held that the testimony of Mohammed that he could identify the handwriting and signature of the deceased meant that the statement was credible.

“The above testimony of the witness is competent enough to warrant the admissibility of the confessional statement of second accused.

“ I am satisfied that the evidence is competent and it is admissible in evidence,” he said.

The judge therefore admitted and marked the statement as exhibit AY.

He subsequently adjourned the case until June 9 for continuation of hearing.

Earlier, the EFCC Counsel, Mr Sabastine Hon, had craved the indulgence of the court to tender the statement of Iyayi in evidence, which was opposed by the accused’s counsel.

In his submission, counsel to Iyayi, Mr Kehinde Ogunwumiju, said prosecution did not lay any foundation for the statement to be tendered and admitted in law.

Ogunwumiju had also urged the court to reject the statement.

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