How Delta scholarship board scribe diverted millions in bursary payments – Witness

Peter Amromanoh

A prosecution witness in the ongoing trial of the Executive Secretary of Delta State Scholarship Board, Peter Amromanoh and his accountant, Andrew Nkwor, has told a court how the accused persons opened 28 fake bank accounts to divert bursary payments meant for students.

At the resumed hearing of the case before Justice F. N Azinge of the Delta State High Court sitting in Asaba, the EFCC, through its counsel, Steve Odiase, presented three witnesses.

The Prosecution Witness, PW1, Emmanuel Aworo, a software engineer/consultant engaged by the board to computerize and automate its system for easy access by all Delta students; PW2, Eloho Otiede, a staff of Keystone Bank (former Bank PHB) and account officer of the first accused and the state scholarship board; and PW3, Joy- Ochonu Idoko a senior detective superintendent with the EFCC.

While being led in evidence by Mr. Odiase, the EFCC detective told the court how investigation by the commission, following a petition alleging fraud in the disbursement of Delta State Scholarship funds, discovered that some of the touted beneficiaries were not real.

“In total, about 3,567 names were found to be fake. From the banks we discovered, upon analyses that, about N1.55billion and some fractions was released to the board by the Delta state government, (while) N771.7million was disbursed to beneficiary students as bursary.

“About N38.7million was said to have been expended for administrative purposes, while N24m could not be accounted for,” Ms. Idoko revealed.

Investigations also revealed a flurry of activities in the personal account of the first accused, domiciled in same bank within the period of 2009-2012, with withdrawals to the tune of N24 million through his account officer Eloho and cash deposits of about N19million.

“Amromanoh could also, not explain investments running into millions fixed in joint account with his wife as the later claimed she was not aware of the fixed deposit in their names.

“Amromanoh’s earnings as revealed by his pay slips which were tendered in evidence could not explain the source of the funds in question,” she said.

Prosecution tendered and the court admitted in evidence, despite vigorous objections from counsel to the accused persons.

Justice Azinge then adjourned the hearing till December 9.

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