Hassan Saidu, a prosecution witness in the trial of Tony Omenyi, a retired air vice marshal, who is being prosecuted on an amended 3-count charge brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Wednesday further narrated how Mr. Omenyi allegedly used two firms, Huzee Nigerian Limited and Sky Experts Limited, a contractor of the Nigeria Air Force, to launder arms funds.
Mr. Omenyi is standing trial alongside Huzee Nigerian Limited, for his alleged role in the diversion of over N136 million meant for the purchase of arms by the military.
Mr. Saidu, whose evidence started on January 23 as PW1 was led in evidence by counsel to EFCC, M. S. Abubakar.
He told the court that the investigation and prosecution of the defendants by the EFCC was triggered by a letter dated December 9, 2015 from the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, alleging that the defendants were operating suspicious accounts.
Mr. Abubakar sought to tender the letter in evidence, but Mr. Omenyi’s counsel, Chris Uche, SAN, objected to its admissibility on the grounds that the letter was supposed to have been certified by the ONSA and not EFCC.
Mr. Abubakar, however, faulted Mr. Uche’s argument citing Section 104 (I) of the Evidence Act, 2011, which states that, “it is the public officer in custody of a document that should certify it”.
Relying on the provision of the authority cited, Mr. Abubakar submitted that, “in the case at hand, the EFCC was the proper agency to certify the document”.
Justice Dimgba, in a bench ruling admitted the document as exhibit AH 12 i-xlviii.
Other documents tendered include the account statement of Huzee Nigeria Limited in FCMB and Zenith Bank.
“Our team also asked for Sky Experts Nigeria Limited account opening package, statement of account, certificate of identification and other incorporated documents which they forwarded.
“We also requested for the personal account details of the 1st defendant (Omenyi) from Zenith Bank and it was forwarded to us,” Mr. Saidu said.
Though, Mr. Uche objected to the admissibility of the documents on the grounds that the PW1 was not the maker, his objection was however, overruled and the documents were admitted in evidence.
Other documents tendered were the report of CADEP (Committee on Audit of Defence Equipment Procurement) which came with the certificate of incorporation of Sky Experts by the ONSA.
The witness further stated, “in the course of investigation, we came across one Dr. Theresa Edu, a director of Sky Experts along with the 1st defendant (Omenyi). We interviewed the 1st defendant concerning the movement of money from Sky Experts to his company account, Huzee Nigeria Ltd. His response was that the money was a refund of loan given to Sky Experts, but there was no document to back the claim.”
Mr. Saidu went on to tell the court that, both Mr. Omenyi and “Dr. Edu” had access to the account and can withdraw money from the account at any time.
He stated that, the address of the 1st defendant and Huzee Nigeria Ltd as well as Sky Experts was the same.
“We could not trace ‘Dr. Edu’, so we wrote to the Director, DSS and the Director, Nigeria Immigration Services to place her on wanted list”, Saidu added.
Further hearing on the case has been fixed for April 26 and May 24, 2017.