Justice Aisha Kumaliya of the Borno State High Court in Maiduguri has closed the defence of Aisha Alkali Wakil (popularly known as ‘Mama-Boko Haram’) after she refused to speak in response to questions and issues raised by the court under the guise that she is indisposed.
Mama Boko Haram had informed Justice Kumaliya through gesticulations on the day she opened her defence that she could not speak directly to the court due to ill health.
But the prosecuting counsel, Muktar Ali Ahmed, had told the judge that the defendant did not present any medical report to support her claims of inability to speak.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is prosecuting Wakil over her alleged involvement in a three-count charge of conspiracy and fraud to the tune of N66million.
She was arraigned alongside Tahiru Saidu Daura, the Programme Manager of her company, Complete Care and Aid Foundation on December 4, 2019.
But when the charge was read to the defendants, they pleaded not guilty to the criminal offence.
The petitioner, Ali Tijjani, chief executive of Amtmat Global Ventures alleged that the duo refused to pay him after he executed a contract awarded to him by Wakil, through her company, to supply processed ‘maize grains’ worth N51million which Daura received on behalf of the company.
The EFCC had closed its case against the defendant on January 1, 2021 after the prosecuting lawyer presented five witnesses and tendered several documents that were admitted in evidence as exhibits.
The case was finally adjourned to June 24, 2021 for ruling after several adjournments due to Wakil’s claims of inability to speak.
In her ruling, Justice Kumaliya, held that , “Aisha Alkali Wakil did not produce any medical report to show that she cannot speak. She has refused to talk and only gesticulates when asked to respond to issues by the court.
“She has been given opportunities severally to engage a counsel of her choice which she has not complied with and also refused to produce a medical report.
“Therefore, I am constrained to say that, Aisha Alkali Wakil has no defense in this case and I hereby foreclose her defence,’’ the judge held.
One of the three-count charge reads in part, “That you Tahiru Saidu Daura, while being a Programme Manager of Complete Care and Aid Foundation and Aisha Wakil, being the CEO of Complete Care and Aid Foundation on the 7th September, 2018, at Maiduguri within the jurisdiction of this court, dishonestly induced Ali Tijjani, the CEO and alter ego of AMTMAT Global Ventures to deliver to you processed maize grains (biski), valued at N51million which you are yet to pay for and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 320(a) and punishable under Section 322 of the Penal Code Cap 102 Laws of Borno State.”
Justice Kumaliya later adjourned the matter till July 26, 2021 for the second defendant to open his defence.