The Federal Government on Tuesday commenced the trial of a former Governor of Imo State, Ikedi Ohakim, charged with money laundering.
Ohakim was earlier arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on a three-count charge of money laundering.
The former governor who served as Imo State Governor from 2007 until 2011 when he was dethroned by Chief Rochas Okorocha allegedly purchased a house at Asokoro District of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) with cash payment of a dollar equivalent of N270m in November 2008.
At Tuesday’s beginning of the trial, the first prosecution witness, Mr. Dauda Ishaya, a Senior Detective Superintendent with the EFCC, gave his report of investigation on the charges preferred against Ohakim.
Led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Mr. Festus Keyamo, Dauda said Ohakim initially lied that he was a tenant in the property, until he was confronted with the statements of those who were involved in its purchase by him.
The said residential apartment is located at 60, Kwame Nkrumah Street, Plot No 1098, Cadastral ZoneA04, Asokoro District, Abuja.
According to him, intelligence report revealed that there was no bank transfer on purchase for that property, which contravenes the provisions of the Money Laundering Act.
“We took the accused person to the said property and we returned to the office. He was questioned on the same property and he said he was just a tenant in that property.
“He said he rented the house from a company called Tweenex Consciates through the Managing Director of the Company called Abu Sule,” Dauda said.
The prosecution added that when the accused was invited by the EFCC, he denied ownership of the property but later sang a new song when he was confronted with overwhelming documentary evidence.
Justice Ademola adjourned the case till November 12 and 13 for continuation of trial.