- EFCC Dehumanised me Just to Implicate Jonathan, Says Dudafa
Waripamo-Owei Dudafa, a former Special Assistant on Domestic Affairs to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, has pleaded with the Federal High Court in Lagos not to judge his case based on a series of statements he wrote while in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Dudafa, who is being prosecuted for an alleged fraud of N5.1bn, told Justice Mohammed Idris, before who he is being tried, on Monday that using those statements would occasion injustice against him, claiming that he did not voluntarily make them.
He told the judge that the anti-graft agency locked him up for about two months and subjected him to what he described as dehumanising treatments, thereby giving him no other option but to write and sign the statements against his will in order to secure his freedom.
Dudafa stated this while being led in evidence by his lawyer, Mr. Gboyega Oyewole, during a trial-within-trial to test the authenticity of the confessional statements and asset declaration form he filed while in the EFCC custody.
“After the 13th of May, 2016, they took me back to the cell and they continued taking me out each day so that I could go through agony.
“In the cell, I was isolated. I was not treated like any other detainee. All other detainees had access to their phones and food but me. My family members were stopped from bringing food to me and I accused the EFCC of planning to poison me.
“They wanted to break me down, to make me implicate some people. They asked me questions about former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan; they said I was not their targets and made all sorts of overtures but I said over my dead body,” Dudafa said.
Earlier, Dudafa, who now limps, narrated to Justice Idris how he got his spinal cord dislocated in the EFCC cell, adding that the condition deteriorated because the EFCC allegedly shunned the recommendation of the military hospital to transfer him to a specialist for treatment.
“The ailment I have today, a spinal cord dislocation, I want to state that it was within that period of torture and agony that my spinal cord got dislocated for sitting all through from morning till night and no one would talk to you, it was excruciating.”
He claimed that the EFCC also rejected the offer by his family to take him out for treatment and foot the bill.
He further claimed that no fewer than 30 of his friends and family members were arrested because of him.
He claimed that by the time they had frozen all his bank accounts, that of his wife and his children and he could not pay the tuition of his child studying in the US, while he was still in serious daily pain due to his dislocated spinal cord, he succumbed to pressure.
He said after being detained for many weeks he was taken before the EFCC’s Deputy Director of Operations, Mr. Iliyasu Kwarbai, who threatened and then made overtures to him that he would be released if he could cooperate.
“Eventually I had no objection to what he said, because I needed my freedom.
“I was dying at that time; my son was stranded in the university; my wife and children were hungry, everything became a yardstick to my freedom.
“These statements were largely dictated based on my freedom. The entire so-called asset declaration is a sham.
“I want to conclude that it will be unfair to use these statements against me. These statements that they themselves orchestrated and teleguided is what they want to use against me in a court of law? It was bad.
“Statements that were made under such dehumanising, agonising conditions are what they want to use against me in the temple of justice,” Dudada said.
Under cross-examination by the EFCC lawyer, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, Dudafa maintained that his statements were not voluntary despite the cautionary words written and read to him before he wrote the statements.
Justice Idris adjourned till Tuesday (today) for continuation of cross-examination.
University Of Ibadan (UI) Goes Digital, Releases Timetable for Virtual Academic Session
University of Ibadan (UI) on Friday announced it is going ahead with resumption on February 20 despite the second wave of COVID-19.
In a statement released by the school, the First Semester of the 2020/2021 academic session will commence virtually on February 20, 2021.
The virtual academic session will last for 13 straight weeks and end on Friday May 12, 2021, while the matriculation ceremony will hold on Tuesday March 16, 2021.
The University of Ibadan also scheduled one week for the Finalization of Continuous Assessment, to begin from Mon. 17 May and ends Friday 21 May.
The rising number of COVID-19 cases has compelled the Senate to approve the virtual academic session in an effort to ensure the tertiary institution abides by the protocols established by the Federal Government to curb the spread of the pandemic.
“It, therefore, agreed that the 2020/2021 First Semester lectures will be delivered online. In this regard, students will not be accommodated on campus,” a statement from the school said.
“Senate also approved the cancellation of the 2019/2020 session. The next session is, therefore, renamed 2020/2021 Academic Session. Consequently, students who have been admitted for the 2019/2020 session will now be regarded as the 2020/2021 intakes.
“Kindly note that online opening of Registration Portal and Orientation Programme for the 2020/2021 intakes may commence ahead of the Sat 20/02/21 date indicated above,” the statement said.
House of Representatives Impeached Trump Over Capitol Invasion
The United States House of Representatives on Wednesday impeached President Trump for the second time after instigating the US Capitol invasion.
Led by Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, 232 representatives, including 10 Republicans, voted to impeach the outgoing president against 197 that voted for him to remain in the office for the next six days when he would handover to the president-elect, Joe Biden.
The ten Republicans were Representatives Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the party’s No. 3 leader in the House; Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington; John Katko of New York; Adam Kinzinger of Illinois; Fred Upton of Michigan; Dan Newhouse of Washington; Peter Meijer of Michigan; Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio; David Valadao of California; and Tom Rice of South Carolina.
Speaking before the vote, Pelosi said “a constitutional remedy that will ensure that the Republic will be safe from this man who is so resolutely determined to tear down the things that we hold dear and that hold us together.”
“He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love,” she said, adding later, “It gives me no pleasure to say this — it breaks my heart.”
Republicans, who unanimously stood behind president Trump in 2019 during his first impeachment, were divided this time over the attack on Capitol.
A Republican representative from California, Kevin McCarthy, said “The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters,” Mr. McCarthy said. “He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.”
US Congress Declares Joe Biden as The 46th President of The United States After Trump Mob Left
The joint congress of the United States on Thursday, January 7, 2021 certified Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States following President Trump’s mob action that disrupted the congress joint proceeding on Wednesday.
After ordering his followers to disrupt proceedings on Wednesday, President Trump later announced that there will be an orderly transition on January 20.
“Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th,” Trump said in a statement issued by White House Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Scavino.
“I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!” Trump added.
While the certification was just a mere formality as Biden had secured enough electoral college votes (270) required to clinch the world’s most powerful seat, the refusal of Donald Trump to accept the results of the November 2020 election made the session a keenly watched, especially after Trump mob disrupted a joint session of the Senate.
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