Home » News » N3.2bn Fraud: Kalu’s Aide Withdraws N714m From Govt. Account Through Draft – Witness

N3.2bn Fraud: Kalu’s Aide Withdraws N714m From Govt. Account Through Draft – Witness

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In the ongoing trial of former Abia State Governor, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu over
alleged N3.2 billion fraud, a Compliance Officer with Heritage Bank Plc,
Mr. Adeniyi David Tunde, on Thursday, told a Federal High Court, how kalu’s
Aide, Udeh Jones Udeogu and two others withdrew N714 millions from the
Government House account with the defunct Spring Bank Plc using draft.

Kalu, his Commissioner for Finance, Udeogu, and kalu’s company, Slok
Nigeria Limited are being being tried before Justice Mohammed Idris
led-Court, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on an
amended 34 count charge of N3.2 billion fraud.

Mr. Adeniyi, the EFCC third prosecution witness, while being led in
evidence-in-Chief by the EFCC’s prosecutor, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), on
Thursday, after tendering some documents, which were admitted and marked
‘Exhibits D50 to D68′, used in the alleged fraud, also narrated how Udeogu
through bank draft collected the said money from defunct Spring Bank Plc,
acquired by Heritage Bank Plc.

Giving the details of how the monies were allegedly taken away from the
Government House Account No. 191011955819, the witness stated that in
November 14, 2001, a draft for N27 million was paid on the instruction to
debt account number 191011955819. He also told the court that on the same
November 14, 2001, two transactions on the said account and it was debited
with the sum of N40.3 million.

He also stated that on November 30, 2001, the account was debited with
N40.3 million, of two cheques in favour of one Mike Udoh, and that a draft
of N40 million was purchased by one Okoroafor in the name of Inland Bank
Plc. He also said on July 2, 2001, a withdrawal of N9 million was made by
Mike Udoh, while a draft of N9 million was purchased in favour of Inland
Bank Plc.

Furthermore, the witness also stated that between December 2, 2001, and
February 2003, a total of N110 million of drafts were purchased in favour
of Inland Bank Plc, from the same Government House account, by Okoroafor
and one O. K. Onuma.

He however stated that between March 31, 2003 and March 1, 2004, Udeh Jones
Udeogu raised a total draft of the sum of N495.3 million in favour of the
defunct Inland Bank Plc.

He also informed the court that the former Abia State Finance Commissioner,
Udeogu used different names such as: Okey Udeh, Jones Udeogu, Udeogu E. D.,
and Okey Nwosu, in raising the draft.

However, during cross-examination by the defendants’ lawyer, the witness
said he did not sight the computer that produced all the exhibits tendered
in the Criminal trial.

Adeniyi while responding to the questions from Mr. Uche Goddy, lawyer to
Dr. Kalu, said though he never work in the Umuahia branch of the bank, but
stated that the transactions in the Umuahia branch of his bank were stored
in the Umuahia branch database which were sent to the bank’s server.

He also stated that the money withdrawn were more than money used in buying
drafts. Adding that from the account opening mandate, the name of Orji Kalu
was not stated neither he is a signatory to the account, and that there was
no where in the account transactions where Orji Kalu name was mentioned.

In responding to Udeogu’s lawyer questions, the witness said he never
participated in the maintaining the Government House Account, he also
admitted that there were no signature name on the statement of account
tendered as it was only signature and date was required.

He further said that not all the monies paid into the account were
withdrawed.

In responding to the questions from counsel to Kalu’s company, Slok Nigeria
Limited, Chief K. C. Nwofo, the witness said it is possible for a customer
to deposit money in an account and another person used the money to raise
draft.

He also stated that in all the transactions carried out in the account,
Slok Nigeria Limited, never mentioned in all the transactions.

Upon the completion of the witness evidence, Justice Idris, adjourned the
matter till June 5 to 8, 2017, for continuation of trial of the defendants.

Kalu alongside his former aide, Udeh Udeogu, and his company, Slok Nigeria
Limited, are facing trial before the court on an amended 34 count-charge of
alleged N3.2 billion fraud.

In the amended charge marked FHC/L/56C/08, Dr. Kalu and other accused
persons were alleged to have allegedly diverted about N3.2 billions from
Abia State Government’s treasury between 2001 and 2005.

They were also alleged to have used the following banks to perpetrate the
alleged fraud, Manny Bank, Spring Bank Plc,( now Heritage Bank), the
defunct Standard Trust Bank, now United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA) and Fin
Land Bank, now First City Monument Bank (FCMB).

The alleged offences according to the EFCC are contrary to sections 17(c)
16, 14(1)(b)17(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2003, and
sections 427 of the same Act.

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