Former Chief of Army Staff, General Ishaya Bamaiyi, yesterday, told a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja that he agreed with the suggestion by Fred Ajudua to bribe Justice Olubunmi Oyewole who was then handling his trial in 2006, because he wanted to regain freedom.
Bamaiyi stated this under cross-examination by counsel to Ajudua, Olalekan Ojo(SAN).
Ajudua, being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, is standing trial before Justice Josephine Oyefeso for allegedly defrauding Bamaiyi in 2004, while they were both incarcerated at the Kirikiri Maximum Prisons, Lagos.
Responding to Ojo’s questions, Bamaiyi said: “I agreed with his (Ajudua) suggestion because I believe they were truthful. He brought the idea to me and I agreed because I wanted to secure my freedom. If anybody is in trouble, he will do anything to get out of trouble.
“I know it is wrong to compromise a judicial official. I don’t see anything wrong in reaching out to anybody as long as what you are seeing him for is reasonable.”
Bamaiyi however said Ajudua never suggested meeting officials of Lagos State Government officials to him and that he never sent him (Ajudua) to bribe any official on his behalf.
“He never suggested to me about meeting any official of the Lagos State Government to secure my freedom and I never instructed him to meet anyone on my behalf,” he added.
Probed by Ojo over a statement made by one Amos Ado, whom he sent to report the matter to EFCC, Bamaiyi maintained that he never briefed Ado on what transpired between him and Ajudua and that he (Ado) only made a verbal complaint to EFCC.
Also asked whether he had ever made a statement anywhere stating that he sent Ajudua to bribe Justice Oyewole, Bamaiyi denied the allegation.
At that point Ajudua’s lawyer, Ojo requested for a copy of the statement made by Bamaiyi in 2006.
EFCC lawyer, Seidu Atteh however said the copy of the statement was not available in court.
Following the non-availability of copy of the statement, Justice Oyefeso adjourned the matter till May 8.