How I took $.14m to Obasanjo on Atiku in-law’s instruction – Witness
Bashir Mohammed, an Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) witness in the money laundering trial of Abdullahi Babale, the in-law to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, on Tuesday, told the Federal High Court, Lagos, how he took $140,000 to former President Olusegun Obasanjo on the defendant’s instruction.
Mohammed, who claimed to be a close friend to Babalele, stated this when the EFCC opened its case against the defendant in the court presided over by Justice C.J. Aneke.
The Commission arraigned Babalele for allegedly laundering $140,000 in the build-up to the 2019 general elections.
The witness was led in evidence by the EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo.
Narrating how the money was given to him and how he sent it, Mohammed said he received a phone call from Babalele sometimes in February and requested him to deliver a message to “an elder statesman”.
According to him, on Babalele’s request he supplied two bank accounts and they were credited.
The witness said he took the money to Obasanjo’s residence in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
He said: “When I got to the gate, somebody came and took me inside where I met former President Olusegun Obasanjo and delivered the message. I called the defendant in the presence of former President Obasanjo and informed him that I had delivered the message. He said that was good and thanked me.”
Under cross-examination by the defence counsel, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), Mohammed affirmed that he wrote a statement at the EFCC office during the investigation.
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But Ozekhome’s effort to tender the statement as an exhibited was rejected by the prosecution.
Justice Aneke later adjourned the matter till Wednesday to rule on the admissibility of the statement.