N6.8bn fraud: Ex-GTB official testifies against ex-NAMA MD, Abdulsalam, others

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday called  its third witness in the trial of the former managing director of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Mr. Ibrahim Abdulsalami and six others over alleged N6. 850, 447, 609. 90 billion fraud in the case at the Federal High Court, Lagos,

Others standing trial on the alleged fraud alongside the former managing director are: Adegorite Olumuyiwa, Agbolade Segun, Adegorite’s wife, Joy Ayodele Adegorite, who is the managing director of Multeng Travels and Tours Limited; Clara Aliche, and  two Limited Liability companies Randville investment limited, Multeng Travels and Tours Limited, allegedly used as conduit pipe to defraud the agency.

Others include: Bola Akinribido and Sesebor Abiodun.

All the defendants are facing a 24 count amended charge, bordering on conspiracy, fraud, forgery and unlawful conversion of funds.

EFCC had earlier called two witness in the trial, Teslim Ajuwon, a Compliance officer with Zenith Bank Plc.

At the resumed trial of the defendants today, the prosecution called its third witness, Kayode Temitope Olanrewaju, a former compliance officer with Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) Plc.

The former GTB’s Compliance Officer, while being led-in-evidence by the EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, told the court that on March 15, 2016, his former employer received a letter for the anti-graft agency, request for an enquiry report on some documents.

Olanrewaju who is the prosecution witness in the matter said upon receiving the letter, it was forwarded to the Bank’s Business Unit, which is responsible for handling foreign operations, to enable them to ascertain if the duty receipts were issued by the bank.

The prosecution witness also told the court that from the internal investigation conducted by the bank, the bank could not confirm any of the documents in the bank’s record.

He added that upon conclusion of the investigation, his former employer in a letter dated March 23, 2016, responded back to the EFCC that the documents said to have been issued by the bank could not be found in the bank’s record.

Upon conclusion of the witness’ testimony, the prosecutor, Mr. Oyedepo, urged the court to admit his agency’s letter to GTB and the bank’s response.

The prosecutor’s request was not opposed by  the counsel to the defendants, consequently, Justice Babs Kuewumi,  admitted the documents and marked it as exhibit C1 and C2.

During cross-examination of the witness by the counsel to first, fourth and third and eight, who were: Mr. Olawoyin A., Adebayo Adedokun and Abiodun Julius, told the court that he may not be able to confirm if the Nigeria Customs Services’ payment form, emanated from NCS.

When asked if he make any enquiry from NCS on the authenticity of the documents, he responded and said: “I can’t confirm but my bank have a way of checking authenticity of any documents which is done by the Bank’s business Unit.

The witness also told that court that he is not knowledgeable about the process used in generating the documents but added that those working in the Business Unit of the bank are the one confirming to those in Compliance Unit.

Further hearing of the matter has been adjourned till May 2 and 3.

The EFCC in one of the 24 count criminal charges marked FHC/L/145C/2016, alleged that all the defendants and one Nnamdi Udoh still at large, have between January 31, 2013 and September 3, 2015, with intent to defraud and by false pretence conspired together to induced the Agency to deliver the sum of N2, 847, 523, 975 billion, to Delosa Limited, Air Sea Delivery Limited and Sea Schedules Systems Ltd under the pretence that the said sum represented the cost of clearing consignments belonging to the Agency.

The defendants were also alleged to have converted various sums of money amounting to N4, 003, 532, 608.90 belonging to the Agency, to their personal use.

The EFCC also alleged in the charge that the defendants on December 19, 2014, forged a document titled “Guaranty Trust Bank Plc Apapa 2-Burma road NCS Payment Acknowledgement receipt number: 05821082014177651”.

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