Witness testifies in Orji Kalu’s corruption trial

Orji Uzor-Kalu
Orji Uzor-Kalu

A prosecution witness in the ongoing criminal trial of former Abia State governor, Orji Kalu, on Tuesday told a Lagos Division of the Federal High Court that she doesn’t know the names of the Abia state government officials who came to the Umuahia branch of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) to clear bank drafts to the tune of N200 million.

Christiana Ohiri, a manager of a branch of the bank while testifying before the court, said she had not met, personally, all the government officials involved in the transaction because they were liaising with her superiors who are currently not working for the bank.

“There was no single draft of N200 million issued to the state’s former Commissioner for Finance, Jones Udeogu; the name of Slok did not feature in the statement of account and I don’t know if Slok limited have any contract with the government of Abia,” said Mrs. Ohiri.

Mr. Kalu, his company Slok Nigeria Limited, and Mr. Udeogu are facing a 34-count amended charge bordering on money laundering and fraud amounting to N3.2 billion.

The accused persons, appearing before Justice Mohammed Idris, were alleged to have diverted the money from Abia State government’s treasury between 2011 and 2005 while Mr. Kalu was governor.

According to the banker, the statement of account in the exhibit B6-B10 was issued by UBA as it had the stamp of the bank and the account number of the Government House bank account.

While also agreeing with the counsel to the second defendant, Solomon Akuma, that no one signatory to the Government House account could clear a cheque from the bank without the signature of the other signatories, Mrs. Ohiri said “the bank cannot honour any cheque without the signature of Orji Theodore Ahamefula.”

Mr. Orji, who is the immediate past governor of Abia State, was at the time the Chief of Staff to Mr. Kalu. He, alongside Mr. Udeogu, were signatories to the Government House account.

The trial was adjourned to April 12 for continuation of trial.


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