Justice Giwa Ogunbanjo of Federal High Court, Abuja, on Tuesday, December 1, 2020, threw out the application of Patrick Are, second defendant in trial of former director-general of National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, Emeka Mba, and four others for alleged N2.9billion fraud.
In throwing out the application in a trial-within-trial, in which Are sought the rejection of the testimony of Abubakar Madaki, a prosecutor with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC the judge stated there was no reason why the testimony should not be admitted in evidence, since the applicant failed the test of burden of proof in the trial. “I therefore overrule the second defendant’s objection to the admissibility of the statement; such is to be tendered in evidence. The said statement is therefore tendered and marked accordingly,” the judge said. He adjourned the matter till March 9, 10, 23 and 24, 2021, for continuation of trial.
Are’s application failed for his failure to prove his claim that he did not write his statements in EFCC’s office out of his own volition but was traumatized and coerced by Madaki into doing so. Mba and Areh, alongside Basil Udotai, Babatunde Amure and a company, Technology Advisors are facing prosecution by the EFCC, for alleged diversion of N2.9 billion, meant for the purchase of setup boxes for digital switch-over from analogue broadcasting in the country.