A former Special Adviser on Domestic Affairs to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Waripamo-Owei Dudafa, has disowned the statement he made to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Dafuda, who is currently facing charges of N5.1bn money laundering, recently claimed he was being pressurized to indict former president Goodluck Jonathan and his wife, Patience.
A banker, Joseph Iwuejo, who is standing trial alongside Dudafa also denied his own confessional statement.
Both Dadafa and Iwuejo are being tried on 23 counts before Justice Mohammed Idris of a Federal High Court in Lagos.
During Monday’s proceedings in the case, Dudafa’s lawyer, Mr. Gboyega Oyewole, resisted the move by the EFCC’s lawyer, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, to tender Dudafa’s extrajudicial statement, which he made to the EFCC, as an exhibit against his client.
He equally resisted Oyedepo’s move to tender an asset declaration form filed by Dudafa on April 27, 2016 in the EFCC custody as an exhibit against Dudafa.
“We are opposed to the bid to have this (asset declaration form) admitted as evidence. Our basis is that it was not voluntarily made by the first defendant. It was obtained under extreme duress; all sorts of promises were made to induce him (Dudafa) to admit all this.
“My Lord, we are contesting the voluntariness of this document,” Oyewole argued.
But Oyedepo said an asset declaration form filled by a suspect was not categorised under sections 28 and 29 of the Evidence Act as an extrajudicial statement.
“The document sought to be tendered is not a statement suggesting that Mr. Dudafa had committed an offence.
“It is the declaration of his assets and, My Lord, that is in compliance with Section 27 of the EFCC Act, which imposes an obligation on a suspect under investigation to declare his assets and that cannot be construed to mean giving a statement,” Oyedepo said.
However, Oyewole insisted that for all intent and purposes, the asset declaration form filled by his client while in the EFCC custody and days after his arrest was qualified as an extrajudicial statement.
“There is no basis on which to distinguish between this and any other extrajudicial statement made by the first defendant,” Oyewole maintained.