The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Monday closed its case of fraud against Aishat Wakil, aka Mama Boko Haram and two others at a Maiduguri High Court after presenting forensic evidence to buttress its allegations.
After presenting the sixth and seventh prosecuting witnesses, the EFCC lead lawyer, Benjamin Manji, told the court that his witnesses have presented enough evidence against the three accused persons.
It could be recalled that the EFCC had in December last year filed criminal charges against Mama Boko Haram and the two others – Saidu Daura and Prince Lawal Shoyade, on N66 million fraud case which they allegedly perpetrated through Mrs Wakil’s NGO, Complete Care, and Aid Foundation.
The EFCC later amended the charges and re-arraigned the three accused persons before Justice Aisha Kumalia of the Borno State High Court, Maiduguri on “a-five count amended charge bordering of conspiracy, obtaining money by false pretence and cheating to the tune of N111.6 million”.
The three accused persons pleaded not guilty.
Manji then asked the court to proceed for trial and also prayed the court to remand the defendants in the EFCC’s custody.
But the defence counsel, S.M Konto, then told the court of a pending bail application and urged the court to hear the said application.
Justice Kumaliya granted them to bail in the sum of N30 million with two sureties in like sum.
But Mrs Wakil, a lawyer and wife to a serving judge in Borno State, and the two others could not fulfil the bail terms and were thus detained in the Nigeria Correctional Service (NCS) in Maiduguri.
The prosecution team of the EFCC had in subsequent sittings of the court presented five witnesses. It ended its case presentation today with the testimonies from the 6th and 7th witnesses.
At Monday’s sitting, presided by Justice Aisha Kumalia, the EFCC brought in two key witnesses who testified to the validity of the forensic reports carried out at the Forensic Science Laboratory Department of the EFCC, Abuja.
The two prosecution witnesses, comprising EFCC’s Detective Superintendent Ismail Olaleye and George Uzuoma of the Forensic Lab, told the court about how they analysed five smartphones belonging to the three accused persons.
They said this proved that they (accused) were aware of the transaction that led to the alleged defrauding of the petitioner.
Uzuoma told the court that he personally examined and analysed the five smartphones, comprising two Samsung
Galaxy tabs, and three Samsung mobile phones.
He said this led to the ”three volumes of forensic reports produced and presented to the court”.
He said the request note that was brought to the EFCC lab from Maiduguri demanded that the Whatsapp messages of the phones be analysed to ascertain if the three were in contact with one another in respect to the alleged fraudulent contract.
It could be recalled the three accused had told the court that they were not aware of such contracts.
Uzuoma said after thorough examination using different devices and applications, he was able to extract the Whatsapp messages including the one that had the three accused ”discussing issues related to the alleged fraudulent contracts”.
Mama Boko Haram who was practically lifted into the cot by two officials of the Nigeria Correctional Service was adorned in her usual Islamic face veil that revealed only her bespectacled face.
She was lifted out of the courtroom, in the same manner, she was brought in.
Justice Kumalia later adjourned the case to May 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8.
Mama Boko Haram earned fame for her self acclaimed closeness with the Boko Haram insurgents and had on several instances been appointed into government committees to dialogue with the insurgents.