Drama in court over N20mn bribe allegation

The plaintiff accused a defence witness of collecting bribe.

A mild drama on Wednesday occurred at an Abuja High Court in an ongoing suit between the Minannuel Estate Developer and the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) officer, Adamu Garba.

The drama ensued when counsel to the plaintiff, Chris Uche, told the court that Mr. Garba, the Defendant Witness (DW2) collected N20 million from his client.

Mr. Uche, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, is the counsel to the plaintiff in the ongoing suit between the FCDA and Minannuel Estate Developer on the demolition of 500 housing units in October 2012.

Mr. Garba, who is a District Officer with FCDA and a Town Planning Officer in the Department of Development Control, however denied collecting any sum from the developer.

Mr. Uche told the court sitting in Zone 2 during the cross examination of the witness to ascertain the fact on the demolition. He said the witness also collected another N4 million a day before the demolition in order to help the developer update and process its document on the estate.

He told the court that the estate was demolished at the week when the Senate Committee were to sit on the right of ownership of the portion of land.

“These houses were demolished at the week when the senate committee was to sit on the subject matter. It has been perceived that the land was also allocated to members of the National Assembly.

“There are many estates beside Minannuel which they did not touch such as Fort Royal, Set-Time, NNPC Cooperative and Trade Moore estates.

“This witness has been the one who has been helping my client to redesign and update their records,’’ he said.

The counsel also told the court that the notices, such as stop-work, quit-notice and demolition, as claimed by the witness that he served on the developer, were not served. He said the photograph brought to the court as evidence of the structure of the estate during and after demolition were not the true structure of the building.

Contradicting the evidence of the plaintiff’s counsel, the defence counsel, Joe Gadzama, told the court that part of the document presented by the plaintiff was not from his office. He said he was not in the country when the demolition took place on the estate.

Earlier, the presiding judge, Danlami Senchi, had ruled on the admissibility of the controversial photographs and the pro-former invoice from an Abuja-based Radio Station.

The admissibility had brought an argument between the two counsels earlier on June 18.

According to the judge, the documents satisfy the requirements of Section 284 of the Evidence Act, 2011.

Mr. Senchi went further to support his point by citing Section 111 of the Evidence Act 2011, on the admissibility of the documents.

According to him, these documents tendered by the defence counsel are admissible in evidence based on the careful study of the law and mark as part of the exhibits in evidence.

He adjourned the matter to June 20 for continuation of hearing.

(NAN)


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