EFCC closes case in ‘Mama Boko Haram’s trial for alleged N40m fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) on Thursday closed its case in the ongoing trial of Aisha Alkali Wakil, aka “Mama Boko Haram,” for alleged N40 million fraud at the Borno State High Court, Maiduguri.

The EFCC’s Head of Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, who disclosed this in a statement sent to Ripples Nigeria, said the commission closed its case the last two witnesses, Geoffrey Okolorie and Bashir Abubakar.

Wakil, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Complete Care and Aid Foundation (NGO), was arraigned by the EFCC for alleged N40 million fraud.

Other defendants are – Prince Lawal Shoyade and Tahiru Saidu Daura, who is the NGO’s Programme Manager and Country Director.

Okolorie, a staff of the Digital Forensic Unit of the EFCC in Abuja, told the court that his unit received a letter alongside five mobile phones belonging to Wakil, Daura, and Shoyode from the commission’s office in Maiduguri, requesting a digital forensic analysis on the mobile devices.

He said upon the receipt of the devices, a case file was opened and a number assigned on them.

Okolorie said: “I compressed the devices and took out the SIM cards and extracted the data from the SIMs through the cellebrite universal extraction device. The data was extracted in one terabyte storage device.

“Thereafter, I cloned each of the SIM cards and slotted them in and connected the phones to the cellebrite charger device and extracted the data on each phone into the storage device.

“At the end of the process, I examined the data on a computer system using a physical analyzer which decode the data and as such the analyses did not reflect in its entirety the WhatsApp messages.

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“I then manually examined the phones and found out the WhatsApp chat communication between Aisha Alkali Wakil, Tahiru Saidu Daura, and Prince Lawal Shoyode. I employed the cellebrite camera and took a screenshot using the cellebrite universal forensic extraction device.

“I finally copied the data on a Compact Disk and marked it with the case file number”.

After his testimony, counsel to the second defendant, Zanna Hamza opted not to cross examine the witness.

He told the court that based on the scientific testimony of the witness, he would need a short adjournment to enable him to study the testimony and cross-examine the witness.

Abubakar, who is the complainant, told the court that he is the Chief Executive Officer of To-Day’s Super Store and Duty-Free respectively.

He said: “On May 5, 2018, the Programme Manager of Complete Care and Aid Foundation, Tahiru Saidu Daura called and informed me that his NGO had a contract for the supply of 5 X-ray machines at the rate of N13million each.

“I was later informed by Tahiru that they have a reputable contractor who can execute the supply, hence I was given a ‘Letter of Introduction’ and ‘Authorization’ to transfer the money.

“Based on the letters I received, I transferred the sum N40m into Saidu Mukhtar’s UBA bank account from my Fidelity bank account on May 16, 2018.

“I was later informed to come and collect an acknowledgement letter for the money I transferred and expect my money after 45 days.”

Abubakar said he was not paid the money after the promised date despite repeated appeals Wakil and Shoyode to honour the promise they made to him.

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“After they failed to return the money, I was left with no other option than to report to the EFCC,” he added.

Justice Umaru Fadawu adjourned the hearing in the matter till March 1 for the defendants to open their case.

He also ordered the defendants to be remanded in the Maiduguri correctional centre.

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