By Innocent Anaba
Lagos—A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, was, yesterday, told how the children of a former acting Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Haruna Jauro, were invited to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC offices.
A subpoenaed witness, Mr Peter Achuneni, who is a lawyer, gave the evidence at the resumed trial-within-trial of Jauro.
Jauro assumed leadership of NIMASA, after the erstwhile Director General, Patrick Akpobolokemi.
He is charged by the EFCC, alongside Dauda Bawa and Thlumbau Enterprises Ltd on 19 counts charge of N304.1 million fraud.
During trial in February, the prosecutor Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, had called it’s first witness, Mr Chukwuma Orji, who had testified how several sums of money was allegedly converted by the accused.
Oyedepo had then sought to tender a written statement of the accused as evidence in court, but his move was opposed by defence counsel, Mr Olalekan Ojo, who argued that the said statements were not voluntarily obtained.
The trial judge, Justice Mojisola Olatoregun had consequently, ordered a trial-within-trial.
At the hearing, yesterday, defence counsel, Ojo called on the subpoenaed witness, Achuneni, who told the court that he represented the first accused (Jauro) at the EFCC during investigations.
Led in examination in chief by Ojo, the witness then told the court that EFCC operatives promised to make things difficult for the accused and even invite his children, if he did not cooperate with them.
According to him, the children of the accused were eventually invited to the commission the following day, including his six-year-old child who had no knowledge of anything.
He told the court that he reported at the commission for about six days, and equally went along with the children when they were invited.