Justice Garba Salisu of a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), sitting in Maitama, Abuja on Friday discharged and acquitted a former Chief of Administration of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), Air Vice Marshal Mohammed Alkali Mamu on a four count charge of gratification.
The Econimic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had in June, 2016 arraigned Mamu for allegedly collecting gratification while on duty.
The defendant was accused of receiving the sum of $300,000 and another N9.5m in exchange for contracts while he was a member of Procurement Committee of Ministry of Defence.
The said contracts were not sited on the NAF budget because it was a covet operation, where Nigeria brought in mercenary to fight insurgence.
Air vice marshal Mamu was also alleged to have received two vehicles valued at N15m and N12m respectively, from the said contractor with the Nigerian Air Force.
However, delivering judgment in the suit, Justice Salisu dismissed the charges for want of evidence and consequently discharged and acquit Mamu.
The court in arriving at its decision held that the prosecution failed to call the purported giver of the alleged bribe, one Himma Abubakar, despite admitting that they knew he is still in Niger Republic.
The court in addition held that the confessional statement relied on by the prosecution was not obtained voluntarily, adding that it failed to comply with constitutional provisions for obtaining the statement of the witness.
Justice Salihu also held that the first prosecution witness also told the court that he was not aware of the said contractor or contracts as there is no record with the Nigeria airforce to that effect.
The trial Judge then concluded that the prosecution failed to prove its case against the defendant and consequently discharged him of the four-count brought against him.
The EFCC on June 21, 2016, arraigned Mamu on a four-count charge bothering on receiving gratification.
The commission had alleged that Mamu collected a cash gift of $300,000 and N5.9m for the purchase of a Range Rover Evoque, as a member of Procurement and Planning Committee of Ministry of Defence.
The anti-graft commission also alleged that Mamu received two vehicles (Ford Expedition SUV and Jaguar XF Saloon) from Societe D’ Equipment Internationaux Nigeria Ltd., a contractor with the Nigerian Air Force.
The Commission said the offence contravened Section 17 (a) of the Independent and Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000, and punishable under Section 17 (c) of the same Act.