A former First Bank Director, Dauda Lawal who is currently standing trial for receiving $25 million out of $153 million traced to former Petroleum Minister, Allison Diezani Madueke has testified against the former Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ibrahim Magu before a Presidential probe panel.
Dauda Lawal appeared before the panel led by Justice Ayo Salami to testify against Ibrahim Magu regarding his ongoing case.
Lawal is currently on trial in a Federal High court for laundering money on behalf of Diezani.
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According to a report by Punch, Lawal was asked to testify as part of the Panel’s probe into investigative inefficiencies by the Magu led EFCC.
According to the report, Magu was allowed to witness the testimony after he walked in to the venue uninvited.
“Lawal appeared before the panel to clarify some allegations he had made in the past against the EFCC some of which had been reported to the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation. This was without prejudice to his ongoing corruption trial.
“However, Magu strolled in around 12pm even though he was expected to arrive at 3pm. The panel members were initially reluctant to let Magu witness the hearing but he pleaded and was permitted to do so.”
The EFCC had frozen the accounts of lawal and applied for the permanent forfeiture of his personal funds to the government which he fought against in a counter affidavit.
Lawal had accused the EFCC under Magu of compelling him to release funds he never received after 11 days in detention.
He said when he was arrested, he was told that the only way he could regain his freedom was to drop some of the money which he allegedly received from Diezani.
He said he never knew the source of the money in question and had only carried out normal banking procedures for a friend by receiving and forwarding the said sum to an account provided.
Excerpts from an affidavit by Lawal read;
Having been invited and subsequently detained in Lagos for 11 consecutive days and without access to members of my immediate family, the EFCC investigators kept suggesting and insisting that there was a shortfall of $40m, which I had yet to account for.
They were alleging that I had in fact taken $65m as opposed to the $25m, which I stated that I had received. The EFCC investigators interrogating me made it clear that the only way that I could/would leave detention is if I made their suggested shortfall available to them.
Because I never had this EFCC invented $40m to give, I had to use my personal connections to source for and raise about 50 per cent of the said amount while I was in detention.
I managed to borrow some of the money from the bank where I am an executive director and surrendered it to the EFCC through my legal counsel and was eventually released from detention on May 20, 2016.
Consequently, in a three-week period between May 13 and June 6, 2016, I was made to surrender to the EFCC Recovery Account at the Central Bank of Nigeria the total sum of N9.08bn.”