How ex-NDDC director, accused of fraud, moved over N1 billion public funds – Witness

Tuoyo Omatsuli
Tuoyo Omatsuli

A prosecution witness, Soridei Akene, in the ongoing trial of Tuoyo Omatsuli, a former Executive Director on Projects, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and Francis Momoh on Friday told Justice Saliu Seidu of the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos how over N1 billion was moved from the commission to some private companies belonging to the defendants and other individuals.

The defendants, who were charged alongside their companies, Don Parker Properties Limited and Building Associates Limited respectively, were arraigned on November 10, 2018, on a 45-count charge bordering on conspiracy and money laundering to the tune of N3,6 billion.

The defendants pleaded “not guilty” to the charges preferred against them and were subsequently granted bail on November 16, 2018, in the sum of N100 million each with two sureties in like sum.

At Friday’s proceedings, Mr Akene, a Compliance Officer with Heritage Bank Plc, told the court that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) sometime in January 2015, requested him to furnish it with the account opening documents and statements of accounts of four companies – College Pro Technology, Asiladrine Global Consultancy, Human Oil and Gas Limited and Starline Consultancy Services Limited, which he did.

The documents were tendered by the prosecution counsel, Ekene Iheanacho, and admitted in evidence by the court.

In his further testimony, Mr Akene, who is the third prosecution witness, PW3, told the court that over N1 billion was transferred from the NDDC into the companies’ accounts from 2014 to 2016.

Mr Akene further told the court that monies transferred into the accounts of these companies were further transferred into some individuals’ accounts and also to Building Associates Limited.

Mr Akene, during cross-examination by the defence, told the court that he had never met any of the defendants.

He also said that 90 per cent of the funds moved from the NDDC was transferred to Starline Consultancy Services Limited owned by one Ibinabo Michael West, who is also the sole signatory to the company’s account.

“Ibinabo Michael West received these monies and made several withdrawals, both cash and transfers”, the witness said.

Advertisement

nlng Campaign AD

Mr Akene admitted that he made statements to the EFCC when he was invited by the commission.

He also admitted that none of the defendants was a director in any of the companies, where funds were moved into.

Justice Seidu adjourned the case to June 10, 11, 25 and 26, 2019 for the continuation of trial.

Advertisement

PT Mag Campaign AD

Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility

Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.

For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.

By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.

Donate


NEVER MISS A THING AGAIN! Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required

DOWNLOAD THE PREMIUM TIMES MOBILE APP

Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application

TEXT AD: This space is available for a Text_Ad.. Call Willie on +2347088095401 for more information


All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.