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Trial of ‘ghost’ arrested by EFCC begins

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The trial-within-trial in a case involving Dairo Samson, who is facing an 8-count charge preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for defrauding the Federal Government of N11 million began on Friday.

Samson had at the last sitting on May 17, 2017 challenged the voluntariness of the statement obtained from him by the EFCC, prompting Justice A.R. Mohammed of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT High Court, Jabi, to order for commencement of a trial-within-trial.

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Adamu Garba, the first prosecution witness, who was led in evidence by counsel for the EFCC, Deborah Eteh, told the court that Samson was among “ghost workers” used to divert the said money.

Testifying, Garba, said Samson was accused of conniving with staff of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Abuja, to use fictitious names and account numbers to collect salaries from the Federal Ministry of Finance, Federal Ministry of Works, and the National Population Commission.

The Federal Ministry of Finance had in a letter with reference number HMF/FMF/DSP/PFI/2016/1 dated February 23, 2016 signed by Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, requested that the EFCC investigate the pay roll fraud.

Garba, who investigated the case, told the court that Samson was arrested at a new generation bank in Lagos, at the instance of the EFCC, and handed over to the Commission on March 22, 2016.

“The defendant’s name was among the fictitious names, used to run and operate different salary accounts,” he said, adding “Samson wrote the statement willingly and signed them, and was not under any form of duress during interrogation.”

Eteh then tendered in evidence, bail application, bail condition and bail bond documents signed by Samson, which were admitted in court as exhibits PW1T 1, PW1T 2 and PW1T 3.

Other documents tendered include statements made by the defendant on March 22, 2016; June 30, 2016; July 4, 2016; October 14, 2016 and February 4, 2017, which were all admitted in evidence as PWIT 4, PWIT5, PWIT 6, PWIT 7 and PWIT 8, respectively.

The trial-within-trial continues on October 23, 2017.

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