Justice Fadima Murtala Aminu of a Federal High Court sitting in Damaturu, on Thursday, 28th April 2022 reserved ruling on a trial-within-trial, in a case involving Dr Abdu Bulama, former Minister of Science and Technology, standing trial for allegedly receiving the sum of Four Hundred and Fifty Million Naira (N450,000,000.00) only from Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, former Minister of Petroleum Resources, to influence the outcome of the 2015 Presidential Election.
Bulama was the coordinator of former President Goodluck Jonathan’s 2015 Re-election Campaign Committee in Yobe State.
He was re-arraigned on 8th November 2021 alongside a former Commissioner for Integrated Rural Development in Yobe State, Mohammed Kadai; Abba Gana Tata; Muhammad Mamu and Hassan Ibn Jaks on seven-count charges of criminal conspiracy and money laundering, following the judgment of an Appeal Court in Gombe State, which upheld the argument of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), that the lower court erred by discharging and acquitting the defendants following their ‘no case submission’ upon the closure of the prosecution’s case.
At the resumed trial of the matter on Thursday, the defence counsel, E. A Adeniton, informed the court that he had filed his written address in the trial-within-trial, dated 12 and 22 March 2022 respectively.
“My lord, we adopt same as our oral submission and urge your lordship to find no challenge in finding and holding that the statements of the defendants were not voluntarily obtained and same were taken in contravention to Sections 15(4) and 17(2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015”, he said.
On his part, prosecution counsel, Mukhtar Ali Ahmed informed the court that his written address in the trial-within-trial of the case is dated 14 and 20 April 2022 respectively.
“We adopt the said written address as our oral submission in this case and urge the court to rule in favour of the respondent/ complainant.”
Justice Aminu, thereafter adjourned the matter till 30th May 2022 for ruling on the admissibility or otherwise of the said statements.