Thursday, 5 May 2016

Ohakim Gave Me $2.29m Cash To Buy A House For Him – Witness



A witness, Mr. Abu Sule, told a Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday that he collected $2.29m cash in Ghana-Must-Go’ bag from a former Governor of Imo State, Ikedi Ohakim, to help the former governor to buy a property in Asokoro, Abuja.

Sule, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s second prosecution witness in Ohakim’s ongoing trial, said this while he was being cross-examined by the former governor’s lead counsel, Awa Kalu (SAN).
The witness said he collected the $2.29m, which was an equivalent of N270m, from Ohakim in $100 bills at night sometimes in November 2008 and handed it over to the then owner of the property, Alhaji Isah Maidabino, the next day.
The witness, an architect and Managing Director of Tweenex Consociates H.D Ltd., said he kept the money in the boot of his car overnight before handing it over to Maidabino, now a director in the office of the Head of Service of the Federation.
The EFCC is prosecuting Ohakim who was Imo State governor between 2007 and 2011 on three counts of money laundering.
The charges arose from his alleged purchase of the property at 60, Kwame Nkrumah Street, Plot No 1098, Cadastral Zone A04,  Asokoro District, Abuja with cash payment of $2.29 which was said to be dollar equivalent of N270m in November 2008.
Ohakim was also accused of failing to declare the property as part of his assets when asked by the EFCC to do so.
The prosecution said the offences bordering on cash payment of N270m violated section 15(1)(d) and section 14(1)(b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004.
Sule had earlier in his evidence-in-chief, narrated how he allegedly helped Ohakim to buy and conceal the former governor’s ownership of the property.
The witness had told Justice Adeniyi Ademola, that the former governor instructed him to use his (Sule’s) company, Tweenex Consociates H.D Ltd., to buy the property.
ed that he collected $2.29m cash at Unity Bank, Maitama, from Sule for the sale of the house.
Justice Ademola adjourned the trial till Thursday.