Former Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour Mr. Clement Iloh yesterday told an Ikeja Special Offences Court that he could not remember the date or year he was appointed as a permanent secretary.
Iloh is facing trial for allegedly stealing N14 million by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo.
He pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Iloh, however, noted that as at 2013, he earned N757,000 as a Level 17 officer.
When shown the bank account statements of a company, Clement and Bob, to which he is the sole signatory, Iloh maintained that it was his business account, which he opened alongside his son.
When Oyedepo showed him that the account has a credit balance of N453 million, Iloh said: “I don’t know how you jumped into that amount. What brought me here was a N14 million alleged theft charge.”
Iloh also denied receiving credit alerts into the account from several contractors and junior officials in the ministry and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) staff.
The former Permanent Secretary’s counsel Chief Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN), however, raised objection when Oyedepo again showed the defendant his company’s statement of account where he received N100 million from a Bureau de Change operator while also receiving the dollar equivalent in cash.
Ayorinde questioned why Oyedepo was trying to get his client to accept that he received the dollar equivalent of N100 million.
“My Lord, the prosecution is simply trying to get my client to admit to money laundering charges so that they can file new charges,” Ayorinde said.
Illoh, however, admitted to collecting another N100 million in 10 tranches of N10 million each, but maintained that the money does not belong to him.
He explained that the N49 million transferred into his company account by NIMASA was meant for “community service”.
On further probing by the EFCC prosecuting counsel, the defendant said the community service he referred to was a SURE P programme.
He, however, admitted that there was no contract between his company, Clement and Bob and NIMASA as at the time the N49 million was paid.
Justice Taiwo thereafter adjourned the matter till November 21 and 22 for continuation of trial.