6.8BIL FRAUD: 3RD WITNESS TESTIFIES AGAINST EX- NAMA BOSS

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has called its third prosecution witness, a former compliance officer with Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) Plc, Kayode Olanrewaju, in the trial of the former Managing Director of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Mr. Ibrahim Abdulsalam and six others over alleged N6.8bn fraud. 

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Abdulsalam is charged alongside other defendants including a former NAMA General Manager of Procurement, Olumuyiwa Adegorite, his wife, Joy Adegorite and a former General Manager of Finance, Segun Agbolade. Others are a former acting General Manager of ICT, Bolaniran Akinribido, and Sesebor Abiodun.

Also charged are two Limited Liability companies, Randville investment Ltd, and Multeng Travels and Tours Ltd.

The defendants were charged by the EFCC before a Federal High Court, Lagos on a 24-count amended charge, bordering on conspiracy, fraud, forgery and unlawful conversion of the funds.

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At the resumed trial of the defendants on Wednesday, the former GTB 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 from the anti-graft agency, requesting for an inquiry on some documents.

Olanrewaju said after 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 its 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.

After this testimony, the EFCC prosecutor urged the court to admit his agency’s letter to GTB and the bank’s response.

There was no opposition from the defense to this request and Justice Babs Kuewumi, subsequently admitted the documents and marked it as exhibits.

When asked if he made any inquiry from the Nigeria Customs Services’ (NCS) on the authenticity of the documents, the witness said: “I can’t confirm but my bank has a way of checking the authenticity of any documents which is done by the Bank’s Business Unit.

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

Background

The EFCC in one of the 24 count criminal charges, alleged that all the defendants and one Nnamdi Udoh still at large, between January 31, 2013, and September 3, 2015, with intent to defraud and by false pretense, conspired to induce 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 pretense 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 “Guaranty Trust Bank Plc Apapa 2-Burma road NCS Payment Acknowledgement Receipt Document.

 

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