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419 case: Student denies writing statement

419 case: Student denies writing statement

By Jubril Bada
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A student of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), Paul Fashakin, who is currently standing trial before the Federal High Court sitting in Akure, the Ondo State capital over advanced free fraud, has  denied writing a second  statement before the Economic and Financial  Crime Commission.

He told the court that the second statement signed and dated by him, was not written by him, but fabricated by an official of the commission.

The EFCC had arraigned the accused  alongside four other students of the institution; James Ogundile, Tayo Abudu, Ugochukwu lfeobu, and Franklin Olusola, on a 53-count charge.

Fashakin, who is the first defendant in the case, told the court, while he was asked to bear witness over the second statement alleged to be his statement by the EFCC prosecutor, Umaru Hia.

He said, he did not volunteer to write another statement after his first statement.

Fashakin, who explained that he was brought from lyaganku police station, lbadan where they were locked up to write the statement, said he was taken to the head of section of the commission to write, but that he could not write because he was not in good condition.

“This is not my statement. l was not in good condition to write the statement”, he said

The prosecution said the students sometimes in May 26, 2016 in Akure,  did conspire to commit felony to make document which they knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 1 (2)/ (c) of the Miscellaneous Offence Act Cap C17 of the Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2007, and punishable under section 1 (2) of the same Act.

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While he was asked to identify the statement dated July 22, 2016, Fashakin answered,” My lord, this is involuntary statement

“I was forced and beaten by the officer of the EFCC to sign and date the statement”.

Under cross-examination, the Commission’s counsel, Mr, O. A Owodunni put it to the defendant that all what he said were fabricated lies, but he replied  that he was saying the truth.

However, the trial judge, Justice Abdul Dogo suspended the prayer of the first defendant’s counsel, Mr. A. C Ajakaye asking for permission to come up with a written address over the case

Dogo, therefore, adjourned to October 25, 2019 for the third and fourth trial.

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