Two EFCC witnesses on Wednesday denied allegation of coercion and intimidation of Katsina state former ALGON Chairman, Mr Lawal Dankaba, to make statement under duress.
Dankaba with two others, are standing trial for alleged diversion of about N11 billion from the State/Local Government Joint Account during the tenure of the former Gov. Ibrahim Shema.
The other defendants are: former commissioner for local government affairs, Sani Makana, the then permanent secretary in the ministry, Lawal Rufai.
At the last hearing, EFCC tendered some documents in evidence showing where Dankaba allegedly implicated the former governor, Shema, as an accomplice in the alleged crime..
At the resumed hearing on Wednesday, Dankaba’s counsel, Mr Napoleon Idenala, opposed the admissibility of the said document as exhibit.
He argued that his client was coerced and intimidated by operatives of the EFCC to implicate the former governor with a promise to drop the charge against his client.
Idenala argued that his client, while in the custody of the anti-corruption agency, was subjected to series of psychological and inhuman treatment, leading to his being depressed .
‘’The statements written by Dankaba for the EFCC were products of duress and intimidation,’’ he told the court.
However, in their separate testimonies, EFCC’s witnesses denied the allegation and maintained that the defendant voluntarily gave his statement under a conducive environment.
Mr Abubakar Buba, one of the EFCC witnesses, in his testimony said: “The fourth defendant was neither beaten nor coerced, or intimidated, he gave the statements on his volition.”
Another witness, Mr Abu-fari Muhammad, told the court that ‘’Dankaba wrote the statements freely without any intimidation’’.
The Judge, Justice Ibrahim Maikaita Bako, adjourned sitting until Jan. 23, for continuation of trial.