Wednesday 28 March 2018

EFCC: Fleeing witness withdrew millions from Abia account

The Federal High Court in Lagos on Wednesday heard that a cashier in the Abia Government House, Mr. Akpan Udoh, allegedly made several withdrawals from the state Government House account during Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu’s tenure as governor of the state.

Testifying in Kalu’s trial for alleged money laundering, a prosecution witness, Bassey Omamurieme, said Udoh withdrew hundreds of millions of naira from the account between 2002 and 2003.

An EFCC operative, Ovie Tobore Akpoyibo, had earlier testified that efforts to serve court summons on Udoh was unsuccessful as he had relocated to Cameroon.

“Further efforts to get his call logs from his service provider showed that he has been hovering between Cameroon, Republic of Benin and Katsina State,” Akpoyibo said.

Testifying at the 15th prosecution witness in the trial, Omamurieme, an Assistant Manager at the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), said he was in the Claims Resolution Department which deals with failed banks or those in liquidation.

He said NDIC took over the defunct Hallmark Bank Plc’s records when it was liquidated, including details of Abia State Government House account with the liquidated bank.

“We migrated Hallmark Bank’s database onto a server which is in our custody,” he said.

According to him, he printed the Government House statement of account from the server.

The statement was tendered and admitted as an exhibit.

Led in evidence by prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), Omamurieme said Udoh made three withdrawals of N12.7million, N2.9million and N3million on February 6, 2002 from the account.

He said Udoh withdrew N40.3million on March 6, 2002, and N35million on September 26, 2002.

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