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Tuesday, 11 April 2017

See How Officials Withdrew Money from Abia Account – Witness

Fresh news as official of United Bank for Africa, Christy Ohiri, narrated on Monday how some officials at the Abia State Government House, Umuahia, in 2005 routinely withdrew money from the account of the state house and subsequently used same to buy bank drafts in favour of Inland Bank Plc.

It is clear as Ohiri appeared on Monday before the Federal High Court in Lagos where Chief Orji Uzor Kalu, who was the Abia State Governor at the time, is being prosecuted by the
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for an alleged fraud of N2.9bn.

Kalu is facing 34 counts bordering on conspiracy and money laundering.

He is standing trial alongside Udeh Udeogu and Slok Nigeria Limited.

Ohiri is the second prosecution witness.

Armed with the statement of account of the Abia State Government House domiciled at the Umuahia branch of UBA and a list of 36 bank drafts, the witness matched several withdrawals from the account with corresponding bank drafts purchased.

Led in evidence by the EFCC prosecutor, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), the witness identified some of the Abia State Government House workers who came to make withdrawals from the account.

She listed Jones Udeogu, Mr. R.K. Madu as some of the officials, saying that “there would have been one or two others but I can’t recall their names.”

When ask if she knew one M.A. Madu, the witness said, “The name is familiar but I honestly can’t recall him like I can recall these other two.”

Ohiri told the court that on August 2, 2005, Madu made two withdrawals of N15m and N26 from the state house’s account and subsequently bought bank drafts in the same amounts in favour of Inland Bank Plc.

According to the witness, also on June 6, 2005, Madu withdrew N19.5m and N21.5m and used same to purchase bank drafts.

On April 7, 2005, Madu withdrew N25m and N15m from the account and subsequently used same to purchase bank drafts.

Other state house officials, who purchased drafts, according to her, are Oke Udeh, Oke Nwancukwu, Johnson Okoro, J.O. kanayo and I.D. Okoro.

When asked under cross-examination by Kalu’s lawyer, Mr. Gordy Uche (SAN), whether the ex-governor’s name featured in the transactions, Ohiri said Kalu’s name did not feature on the papers.

She also said the names of the beneficiaries of the purchased bank drafts did not reflect on the documents.

Further proceedings in the case have been adjourned till today.

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