Ade Adesomoju with agency report
An Economic and Financial Crimes Commission witness, Michael Adariku, on Thursday told an Abuja High Court how N1.4bn security vote from the office of the National Security Adviser was diverted.
The News Agency of Nigeria reported that Adariku, an EFCC officer of EFCC, made this known when he testified in the trial of Sambo Dasuki, a former National Security Adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Dasuki is standing trial on 19 counts bordering on alleged diversion of N13.6bn since 2015.
On trial along with Dasuki were Shuaibu Salisu, a former Director of Finance, Office of the National Security Adviser, and Aminu Baba-Kusa, a former NNPC Executive Director, and two others.
Adariku, the first prosecution witness said that the diversion was made through a company owned by a former Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Aminu Baba-Kusa.
The company, Acacia Holdings Ltd., was credited with the sum from the accounts of ONSA purportedly for a national prayer to be organised for Nigeria.
The witness, led in evidence by EFCC’s counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), narrated how N650m was transferred from the ONSA’s Zenith Bank account to Acacia Holdings account with Ecobank for the purpose of the said prayer.
He, however, said that from the response of Ecobank, N650m was transferred to various individuals and companies contrary to the purpose it was disbursed for.
Adariku further revealed that on April 20, 2015, N150m was transferred to the account of Baba-Kusa, and that on April 22, another N70m was transferred to one Jubril Abdullahi for purposes not stated.
He said that on April 22, an account to account transfer of N50m was forwarded to the account of Baba-Kusa between May 4 and May 6, 2015.
The witness said that another transfer of N150m was made to a company, Medical Plastics Ltd. found to be owned by Baba-Kusa and his wife, Hauwa, who own 1.8 million shares in the company.
The witness further revealed how N200m was transferred from ONSA’s account with Zenith Bank to Acacia Holdings Ltd. account with the United Bank for Africa on October 9, 2014.
He added that another N600m was transferred from ONSA’s account to Acacia on April 17, 2015.
While in the process of giving vivid account of how the sums were transferred to various individuals and companies, counsel to Acacia Holdings, Dr Biodun Layonu (SAN) raised an objection.
Layonu objected to the witness’ testimony on the ground that the documents relating to the transactions were not clear in the copies that the prosecution served them.
He said that most of the figures being quoted by the witness had been blanked out in the document in his possession.
The judge, Justice Husseini Baba-Yusuf, acknowledged the observation by the defence counsel for Acacia and directed that the prosecution should make clearer copies available to the defendants before the next adjourned date.
He then adjourned the trial until December 13 and 14 for continuation of trial.
meanwhile, the EFCC on Thursday called two prosecution witnesses who testified before the Federal High Court in Abuja in respect of the N2.1bn fraud charges instituted against the African Independent Television’s founder, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, and his Daar Investment and Holdings Limited.
The two witnesses told the court how they supplied generators, a transformer and security doors valued at millions of naira, to Dokpesi’s houses in Lagos and Agenebode, Edo State, as well as his offices at different times after the sum of N2.1bn was allegedly paid to the defendants by the Office of the National Security Adviser between January and March 2015.
The Administrative Manager of Mikano International Ltd, Abuja branch, Mr. Peter Imoekor, testified as the seventh prosecution witness while the Managing Director, Gilgal Concepts Ltd, Mr. Fabian Ozoemina, testified as the eighth.
The witnesses were led by the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Oluwaleke Atolagbe.
The EFCC is prosecuting Dokpesi and his company on six counts bordering on the sum of N2.1bn which they allegedly received in tranches from the office of the National Security Adviser between January and March 2015.
Dokpesi and Daar Investments were said to have received the sum of N2.12bn from ONSA, then headed by Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), as payment for a “purported contract on presidential media initiative.”
The prosecution alleged that the payment was in breach of and punishable under provisions of the Public Procurement Act, Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act and the EFCC (Establishment) Act.
The seventh prosecution witness, Imoekor, told the court on Thursday that he was invited by the EFCC in February 2016 “to clarify” some transactions which Mikano had with Dokpesi and Daar Communications Plc.
He explained how, between February and August 2015 Mikano supplied four units of 140KVA, two units of 200KVA and a 500KVA transformer to Dokpesi’s house in Agenebode (Dokpesi’s hometown) and Daar’s offices in Sokoto and Gusau, Zamfara State.
He said “The transaction was in respect of four units of 140KVA Basic (open type). Each costs N3.5m and they all totalled N14m
“Daar made payment for all. The payment was made in two tranches of N7m each through First Bank drafts.
“On March 19, 2015, they came to exchange three of the ‘Basic’ generators with soundproof type and paid the difference of N6,350,000 through UBA Plc.
“Then on March 30, 2015, delivery was made. We delivered them to Sokoto and Gusau, the capital of Zamfara State.”
When asked, the Mikano official confirmed that the instructions for the transactions were from Dokpesi.
“They were mostly carried out by the officials of Daar Communications”, Imoekor added.
Under cross-examination by Dokpesi’s lawyer, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), the witness said he did not know the sources of the money paid by Dokpesi and his company for the supply of the products.
He also said he did not know about the income and expenditure of Daar.
“There is nothing about the transactions I consider abnormal,” he added.
On their relationship, he said, “They have been our customers for years”, adding that he did not see anything wrong in the transaction until he was invited by the EFCC.
“I don’t know if it was after charges were filed that I made my statement, I only responded to the invitation by the EFCC,” the witness said.
On his part, Ozoemina said the EFCC invited him sometimes in January 2016 over the case the agency “had with High Chief Raymond Dokpesi and Daar Communications.”
“They asked me what the money they paid to my company was for and I said they were for security doors,” the witness said.
He confirmed that Dokpesi, whom he had known for close to 20 years, gave the instructions for the transactions.
Under cross-examination, he said he did not know the sources of the money paid by Dokpesi.
When asked if he would describe Dokpesi whom he had been relating with for 20 years as a good man, the witness said “he (Dokpesi, is a very good man, I would say.”
Justice John Tsoho adjourned till November 17 for continuation of trial.
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