Former senator representing Kaduna Central Senatorial district, Shehu Sani’s row with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has taken another turn as the anti-graft agency played some of the alleged bribe chat tapes to him in the presence of his lawyers, Barrister Audu Mohammed Lawal and Barrister Glory Peter.
The former lawmaker who was accused of collecting $25,000 from the Chairman of ASD Motors Alhaji Sani Dauda, which he promised to pass on to the Acting Chairman of EFCC Ibrahim Magu, admitted that it was his voice but claimed that some part of the audio tape has been deleted.
It was gathered that Shehu Sani only recanted five out the 13 audio tapes played while he was interrogated.
A source told The Nation;
“A conversation between Sani and the complainant has introduced another dimension to his claims. At a meeting that took place at the Jabi office of the Commission on Wednesday, Sen. Sani, who had hitherto denied receiving any bribe money from Alhaji Sani Dauda, Chairman of ASD Motors, recanted his words after listening to five of the 13 voice recordings of his conversation and that of the chairman of ASD Motors, Alhaji Sani Dauda.
“After listening to the first of the 13 audio recordings, the Senator reportedly said ‘Do you have another one?’
“By the time the second and the third were played to him in the presence of his lawyers, Barrister Audu Mohammed Lawal, and Barrister Glory Peter, the embattled Senator said: “I am okay with this. I am okay with this”.
“When asked if he is familiar with the voices in the audio, he said: “Yes, that is my voice except that some aspects of the recording have been deleted”.
“Asked whether the EFCC or the complainant did the deletion, Sani said: “I am not saying you people deleted it. But that is not the complete conversation.
“In the voice recording, Shehu Sani could be heard in Hausa language pleading with the complainant that he should do everything to make sure they resolve the issue because of their reputation.
“He was quoted as saying in one of the tapes as follows: ‘You have a family and I have a family; think of the way people will see the matter even though it is not public money’, he was alleged to have pleaded in Hausa.
“I believe you already discussed with Bashir; Bashir must have given you his personal advice on what we need to do so that this matter is buried here.”
According to the Nation, Shehu Sani who allegedly admitted that the $25,000 was “bribe money”, had two meetings with the Chairman of ASD Motors; one at his house and the second at his office after the Muslim “Isha”(Dark night) prayers.
The source added;
“Contrary to Senator Sani’s public posturing of his innocence in the alleged crime, he reportedly begged profusely after listening to the recordings that the matter should not be taken further to the media.”
Commenting on the alleged breakthrough in the investigation against Senator Shehu Sani, EFCC’s acting Head of Media, Tony Orilade said;
“All I can say is that the investigation of Senator Shehu Sani is ongoing and he would soon be charged to court.”
Shehu Sani however insisted that he is innocent of the allegation in a leak from his detention cell. He said;
“On his part, Sen. Sani said: ‘Alhaji Sani Dauda and his hidden sponsors have not been able to provide any proof of their allegations.
“I’m unjustly incarcerated on the ground of an arranged two-page petition backed with no evidential or documentary proof.
“The bribe story is a heap of blatant lies and outright falsehood concocted and fabricated, using a front and the EFCC to premiere a state drama.
“ASD is a barely educated front for a state mission. Criminalizing me, or “framing me”, will not silence me, bend me or compromise me.
“They claim extortion and here they are closing my bank accounts, searching my houses and offices and demanding I declare my assets of which I have already done that at the CCB last year when I left the Senate.
“The extortion allegation is nothing but a wholesale falsehood, packaged in a phantom anti-graft facade to taint, stain and mute me. That shall never happen if I am alive.”