Trial-within-Trial in ICPC’s Corruption Case against Dropped Own Board Nominee

The trial of a former Chairman of Kwara State Polytechnic Governing Council, Dr. Saadu Ayinla Alanamu has resumed before Justice Mahmud Abdul Gafar of the Kwara State High Court in Ilorin.

The accused, who is one of the two Board nominees for the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) that were dropped for being under investigation by the Commission, is standing trial with the Chief Executive Director of Namylas Nig. Ltd, Salman Sulaiman, after having been arraigned by the same Commission earlier in September, 2017.

ICPC’s prosecuting counsel, Messrs Sule Amedu and Ijezie Sunny Ezeana fielded one Mr. Oluwaseun Oshinyemi as their first witness. In the course of his testimony, the prosecutors sought to tender the written statement of the second accused, Mr. Sulaiman, but the defence counsel raised an objection that the statement of their client was not made voluntarily. They alleged that he was “forced, harassed, intimidated and coerced” into making the statement to the Commission’s investigators.

Consequently, Justice Gafar ordered a trial-within-trial, which commenced the same day. This, he said was for the court to determine whether the statement was made voluntarily or not. On conclusion of evidence for both the prosecution and the defence in the trial-within-trial, the case was adjourned to 21st, 22nd, and 23rd November 2017 for address in the trial-within-trial and continuation of hearing in the substantive matter.

Dr. Alanamu is facing an 8-count charge for allegedly collecting a bribe from a contractor.The Commission, in the charge sheet, accused Alanamu, who was also the Chairman of the Kwara State Polytechnic Tenders Board, of collecting a N5 million bribe from a contractor, Salman Sulaiman as kickback for the award of a contract.

ICPC’s investigation into the petition had revealed strong evidence of collusion, bid rigging and corrupt practices against Namylas Nig Ltd in the bid process; and that the company used falsified, forged and doctored PENCOM Compliance Certificate, Tax Clearance Certificate and ITF Certificate of Compliance to submit its bid during the bidding process.

Sulaiman on his part, was accused of bribing a government official when he paid N5 million through a Guaranty Trust Bank account to Alanamu, as a reward for the award of contract to his company, thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 9(1) (a) and punishable under Section 9(1) (b) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.

Their offences are also in violation of Sections 8 (1) (a), 10(a) (i), 18 (b), 19 and 22(1) (a) (i) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and punishable under the aforementioned sections.