The trial of former Benue State Governor Gabriel Suswan and his finance commissioner, Okolobia Okpanachi continued yesterday with the prosecution presenting its fourth witness, PW4, Abubakar Umar, who told the court how monies were converted to dollars and given to the governor.
Suswan and his co-accused are being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Commission (EFCC) on a 9-count charge bordering on diversion of N3.1 billion before Justice A. R. Mohammed of the Federal High Court, sitting in Maitama, Abuja.
At the resumed trial, Umar, a Bureau de Change Operator and owner of Fanffash Resources while being led in evidence by Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, told the court that, sometime in August, 2014 while he was in his office at Zone 4 Plaza, the then governor (Suswan) requested for his account details so that money can be deposited into it.
“The former governor (Suswan) called and asked me to see him in his house, Maitama. When I got there, a fair lady was introduced to me who requested for my account details so that money can be deposited into it”, Umar said.
He stated that, after the money was deposited in his account, he was asked to change it into dollars and take it to Suswan’s house in Maitama.
According to Umar, a total of six lodgments were made into his account.
Explaining how the lodgments were made, the witness stated that, the first lodgment of N413million was made on August 8, 2014. On September 12, 2014 two lodgments of N363million and N637million were made. Also, a sum of N630million and N8,018,000.08 were lodged in his account on October 13, 2014. He further stated that, on October 17, 2014 another sum of N1.68billion was lodged in his account.
On a whole, the PW4 told the court that, a total of N3.111billion was paid into his account, all of which were converted into dollars and paid in batches to Suswan at his house.
The case has been adjourned to May 9 and 10, 2016 for continuation of trial. [EFCC]
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