A Federal High Court, sitting in Kaduna Thursday, sentenced a bribe taker, Muhammad Al Haleel, to 15 years imprisonment. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) secured conviction for five of the seven-count charge bordering on fraudulent dealings and obtaining the sum of N60million under false pretences brought against him.
Mr. Al Haleel was arraigned on November16, 2011 for defrauding Shuaibu Sani Teidi, a governorship aspirant in Kogi state of the sum of N60 million with a promise to facilitate a meeting between him and the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammad Namadi Sambo, to ensure that he, Mr. Teidi, got nominated as the governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Kogi state. Mr. Al-Haleel also promised to use part of the money to get clearance for Mr. Shuaibu from the EFCC to enable him stand for the 2011 election.
Mr. Teidi is a former Director, Pension Administration in the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation who is also being prosecuted by the EFCC alongside 39 others accused persons over a N4.56 billion Pension scam.
Justice M. L. Shuaibu In his judgment said he was lenient on the accused because he was a first time offender.
The complainant, Mr. Teidi, on February 8, 2012, testified before the court that Mr. Al Haleel, collected the sum of N60m (sixty million naira) from him to facilitate a meeting between him and Mr. Sambo to ensure that Mr. Shuaibu got nominated as the governorship flag bearer of the PDP in Kogi state.
The ex-pension boss said sometimes in 2011, he visited the accused and discussed his political issues with him.
“I told him I needed ticket i.e. support for the governorship race in Kogi state most especially from the office of the Vice President and also clearance from former EFCC chairman, Farida Waziri, whom he claimed he had contacted,” he said.
Mr. Shuaibu further told the court that to facilitate his ticket from the Vice President, Mr. Al Haleel told him that the vice president would need N10m for his clearance and N50m naira for Mrs. Waziri.
Mr. Shuaibu said he gave the N10m to the accused personally at his house while $320,000 was delivered to him at home by his driver.
“He then called me to say that I should change the $320,000 to naira equivalent as he claimed that Mrs. Waziri said she needed it in naira equivalent,” he said.
According to Mr. Shuaibu, he had to change the dollars to naira which amounted to N50 million, which he handed to his driver to deliver to Mr. Al Ameen. He added that immediately after Mr. Al Haleel collected the sixty million naira from his driver, he stopped picking his calls, a development that prompted Mr. Shuaibu to call the link man between them and reported the matter to him.
“After he collected the money, he stopped picking my calls,” Mr. Shuaibu said.
When asked by the prosecution counsel, Austin Emumejakpor what the money was meant for, Mr. Shuaibu said the N60 million given was purportedly for the duo of the Vice President Namadi Sambo and former EFCC chairman, Mrs. Waziri but was never delivered.
In response to a question as to how he knew that the money was not delivered, Mr. Shuaibu said he knew because he never got a clearance from Mrs. Waziri and nothing also came from the Vice President too.