A witness in the ongoing trial of a former national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Haliru Bello, has explained how he was instructed to pay N300 million to a company belonging to Mr. Bello.
Mr. Bello and his son, Abba Mohammed, alongside their company, Bam Project and Properties Limited, are facing corruption charges, for allegedly receiving N300 million from the office of the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.
The witness, Yazidu Ibrahim, an account officer with the Office of the National Security Adviser, told the court that he received a written instruction on a piece of paper to prepare a payment mandate for BAM to the tune of N300m.
A statement from the office of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, said Mr. Ibrahim told the Federal High Court in Abuja that the piece of paper had the account name, number, amount to be paid, as well as the reason for payment, which was indicated as payment for safe houses.
Mr. Ibrahim also stated that there were two signatories on the payment mandate, namely Sambo Dasuki, and Salisu Yushau, Director, Finance and Administration.
‘‘After they have signed the paper, I would also sign before taking it to the bank (Central Bank of Nigeria),’’ he said.
Mr. Ibrahim had told the court that there were procedures for making payments, which included presentation of documents, approval of the said documents and instructions from the Director of Finance, among others.
‘‘Documents to be presented include: contract documents, contract agreements, signature of the contractor and voucher.
‘‘After the documents had been presented, I would prepare the payment mandate ,which would be passed to the NSA and DFA for signing before taking it to the bank for payment,” he stated.
During cross-examination by counsel to the first defendant, Solomon Umoh, the witness told the court that he did not know if there was any contract between the defendants and Office of the National Security Adviser.
He further stated that he was not in the position to know why payments were made and that
The case has been adjourned to June, 1 for further cross- examination of the witness by counsels to the second and third defendants.