Court tests voluntariness of NIMASA ex-boss’ statement to EFCC

Haruna Baba Jauro

Insisting he made statement under inducement, a Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday ordered a trial-within-trial to test the voluntariness of statements obtained from the former Acting Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Haruna Jauro, who is facing N304.1 million fraud charges.

Jauro’s counsel, Mr. Olalekan Ojo had, on behalf of his client, raised objection to the tendering of his client’s statement on grounds that it was not made voluntarily.

As a result, the trial judge, Justice Mojisola Olatoregun gave a brief ruling ordering a trial-within-trial to ascertain the voluntariness of the statement.

The defendant is standing trial alongside Dauda Bawa and Thlumbau Enterprises Limited on 19 counts bordering on the offences.

They were arraigned on April 12, 2016 and had pleaded not guilty to the charges. The court had admitted them to bail in the sum of N5 million each with two sureties each in like sum.

When the case was mentioned yesterday, the prosecutor, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo called on the first prosecution witness, Mr. Orji Chukwuma, an investigating officer with the EFCC.

Leading his witness in evidence, Oyedepo had showed him exhibit G, H and I and asked the witness to identify the various exhibits.

The witness told the court that exhibit G represented a request for the transfer of N176 million to seven beneficiaries, which document was signed by one Captain Ezekiel Agaba, who is also facing charges of fraud before another judge.

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