The evidence of a witness in the ongoing trial of a former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Haliru Bello and his son, has revealed how over N200million transaction were recorded in two days in the account of a company connected to the defendants.
The witness, Jasper Chukwuemeka Iheme, gave this revelation on Wednesday, May 10, 2017 while testifying as the fifth witness of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before Justice A. R. Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
Bello and his son are on trial alongside their Company, Bam Project and Properties Limited, on a 4-count charge of money laundering preferred against them by the EFCC.
They were alleged to have collected N300million from the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, being part of the funds meant to fight insurgency in the North-East of the country.
Iheme, a banker with Guaranty Trust Bank, GTB, while being led in evidence by O. A. Atolagbe, counsel to EFCC, told the court that, “the EFCC invited us in December 2015, concerning North-Pole Global Services. I was asked to come along with the account opening documentation, customer’s statement of account for a specified period, certificate of identification and the Bank Verification Number, BVN, of the signatory to the account, which I did.”
The documents were tendered and admitted as Exhibit PL10.
The witness was asked to look at a mandate card (specimen signature) presented to him and tell the court the signatory to the account, and what transactions were made on the 18th of March 2015 to which he said, “the signatory to the account is Mallam Abubakar M. Abubakar, a retired customs officer and a one-time gubernatorial aspirant of Kebbi State. I know him very well because I am the account officer of his account”.
He continued: “According to the statement of account, the first entry here on the 18th of March, 2015, is a debit entry of N70,000 (Seventy Thousand naira) drawn from a branch of GTB in Birnin -Kebbi, Kebbi State. The second entry that day was a credit of N178,800,000 (One Hundred and Seventy Eight Million, Eight Hundred Thousand naira), being an inflow from Sterling Bank on the order of BAM Project and Properties (the 2nd defendant)”
The PW5 went on to tell the court that, “On the 19th of March, 2015, the first entry was a debit entry of N50million drawn at GTB, Birnin-Kebbi branch, Kebbi State. There was another debit entry of N30million also on the same day, same branch”, Iheme added.
Justice Mohammed, thereafter, adjourned to May 21, 2017 for continuation of trial.
Thereafter, Haliru’s counsel, Solomon Umoh, SAN, made an application urging the court to grant his client access to his international passport to enable him meet his medical appointment in the United Kingdom.
In a similar vein, John Ochogwu, representing Haliru’s son also made same application on behalf of his client.
Atolagbe raised no objection to the two applications.
Justice Mohammed, in granting the applications said that, the two passports cannot be released at the same time.
“Since the first defendant’s (Haliru) medical appointment comes first, his passport should be released to him. The release of the third defendant’s (Mustapha Mohammed) passport shall only be done after the first defendant has returned from the trip and has deposited his passport to the registrar of the court. It is only then that the third defendant’s passport shall be released to him. Just like the first defendant, the third defendant sureties shall file their affidavit before the passport is released to him”, the judge ruled.
Head Media and Publicity
10 May, 2017