Alleged N50m Bribery: Court Orders Chinese Nationals To Open Defence

A Sokoto State High Court has dismissed a no case submission bid filed by two Chinese nationals charged for conspiracy and attempting to bribe a former head of the Sokoto Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Giving his ruling Tuesday, Justice Mohammed Sifawa averred that a prima facie case has been established against the defendants, Meng Wei Kun and Xu Kuai, and therefore they must enter a defence.

TheFact Daily gathers that Meng and Xu, both staff of China Zhongao Nigeria Ltd, allegedly tried to compromise EFCC’s investigation into the company’s conduct in a contract in Zamfara State, with a fifty million naira bribe.

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Opening their defence yesterday, 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.

Surprisingly however, the defendants waived their rights to having an interpreter. Meng testified that he is a staff of China Zhongao Nigeria Ltd, and that his company was redesigning a solar water project for Zamfara State Government.

Meng said 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 (5) China Zhongao Nigeria Ltd cheques of Ten Million Naira each were cashed from UBA Sokoto branch for the first batch of refund.

Meng Wei Kun 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, in Sokoto State. He said, Lawal came alone for the transaction but before it was conducted operatives of the EFCC stormed the premises and arrested both defendants and the N50 Million exhibit.

During cross examination by EFCC counsel, S.H Sa’ad, 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 Wei Kun was shown a search warrant which he signed during the arrest and recovery of the said N50 Million. He confirmed signing the document but claimed he didn’t know what it meant.

Confronted with the five (5) UBA N10 Million cheques each by EFCC counsel, Meng claimed ignorance of the said cheques. He said he was seeing them for the first time.

Justice Mohammed Sifawa adjourned the matter till 31st January, 2023.

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