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Why I withheld sensitive documents from EFCC – AVM Mamu

A former Chief of Administration of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), Air Vice Marshal Mohammed Alkali Mamu (Rtd) yesterday told an FCT High Court in Maitama that he withheld certain documents from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) “because they are not a security agent.” 

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Mamu had in his evidence in chief reported in Daily Trust on October 14 told the court how foreign mercenary pilots brought in from Ukraine were engaged to combat Boko Haram terrorists in disguise, as instructors and how the cause of death of one of the mercenaries was covered from the Ukrainian embassy.

He had told the court that his evidence involved matters that would expose Nigeria’s contravention of the United Nation’s Charter of armed conflicts especially Resolution 44/34. 

The judge, Justice Salisu Garba at this point asked the EFCC counsel, Sylvanus Tahir if he still wanted the trial to continue in open court due to the sensitive nature of the evidence as it regards to national security. 

Tahir said “These are issues we are being taken by surprise but we believe the evidence can go ahead in open court,” and the court gave order to the witness to continue with his evidence. 

However, at the resumed hearing yesterday, under cross-examination, Tahir, Mamu told the court that EFCC was not a security agent, which explained why he did not present some documents he presented in court to the commission. 

He added that he did not also present the documents to the presidential committee of the audit of arms procurement because they were never discussed during the proceedings of the committee. 

At the end of the cross examination, Mamu’s counsel, Joseph Daudu (SAN) informed the court that he would have called the Ukrainian Ambassador to come and testify as a witness to corroborate Mamu’s evidence, but decided against it because of national security.

Upon closing the defence case, Justice Garba adjourned the matter to February 19, 2018 for adoption of final written addresses. 

Mamu was brought before the court by EFCC on a four-count charge bordering on bribery, alleging that he collected a cash gift of N5.9 million for the purchase of a Range Rover Evoque. 

He was also alleged to have received two vehicles, Ford Expedition SUV and Jaguar XF Saloon valued at N15million and N12million respectively from Societe D’ Equipments Internationaux Nigeria Limited, a contractor with the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA). 

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