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Two Chinese nationals, Meng Wei Kun and Xu Kuaiare facing two count charge of conspiracy and attempting to bribe for allegedly bribing a former Head of the state command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdullahi Lawal.
PLATFORM TIMES gathered that a Sokoto State High Court had dismissed the no case submission of the two Chinese nationals.
The presiding judge, Justice Mohammed Sifawa, on Tuesday, said ”a prima facie case has been established against the defendants and therefore they must enter a defence.”
According to a statement issued by the EFCC, the Chinese nationals, both staff of China Zhongao Nigeria Limited, allegedly tried using N50 million to compromise the anti-graft agency’s investigation into the company’s conduct in a contract in Zamfara State.
In the course of the trial, the EFCC had called three witnesses and tendered documents which were all admitted in evidence by the Court.
Opening their defence on Tuesday, counsel to the defendants, A.T Hassan, called the first defendant, Meng Wei Kun, to the stand but prosecution counsel, S. H Sa’ad, raised an objection on the basis of the absence of an interpreter as both defendants had previously claimed they do not speak or understand English language.
Meng later testified that he is a staff of China Zhongao Nigeria Ltd, adding that his company was redesigning a solar water project for the Zamfara State Government.
According to the defendant, he was informed by the then EFCC Zonal Head, Abdullahi Lawal to make some refunds through him which was agreed to be done in batches.
Meng further testified that five China Zhongao Nigeria Ltd cheques of N10 million each were cashed from UBA Sokoto branch for the first batch of refund.
Meng told the court that he then informed the then EFCC Zonal Head, Abdullahi Lawal, that the money was ready for pick-up at the China Zhongao residence in Kasarawa Sokoto.
He disclosed that Lawal came alone for the transaction but before it was conducted, the operatives of the EFCC stormed the premises and arrested both defendants and the N50 million exhibit.
During cross examination by the EFCC counsel, the defendant confirmed that he knew China Zhongao Nigeria Ltd was under investigation as a result of the contract being executed in Zamfara State.
He equally agreed that he met the then EFCC Zonal Head but the money in question was not intended as a bribe but part of the earlier agreed refund.
Meng was shown a search warrant which he signed during the arrest and recovery of the said N50 million.
He later confirmed signing the document but claimed he didn’t know what it meant.
Confronted with the five UBA N10 million cheques each by EFCC counsel, Meng claimed ignorance of the said cheques, stressing that he was seeing them for the first time.
Justice Sifawa, therefore, adjourned the matter till January 31, 2023.
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