Only Former NSA Can Tell Why Azibaola was Awarded $40m Security Contract – Witness

The first prosecution witness in the ongoing trial of Mr and Mrs Robert Azibaola over $40m contract, Ibrahim Mahe, who said in his last testimony he was instructed by the detained former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, to pay $40m to Oneplus, a company owned by the Azibaolas, testified further on Monday that only the former NSA can explain why the Azibaolas Company, OnePlus Holdings Limited, were awarded the $40m pipeline security contract.
Azibaola is a cousin to the former President Goodluck Jonathan.
The Azibaolas are facing a seven-count criminal charges slammed on them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The commission alleged that the duo through their company laundered $40m which was transferred to OnePlus Holdings Limited account domiciled with Zenith Bank.
The money, the EFCC said paid from ONSA account through Central Bank of Nigeria and was purported for the supply of Tactical Communication Kits for Special Services, an offense contrary to Section 8(a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 as amended in 2012 and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.
However, Mahe who was cross examined by Chris Uche, counsel to the defendants, said, Oneplus was awarded a $40m contract from $600m special security funds sourced from the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and not from the office of National Security Adviser.
Mahe, a Permanent Secretary at ONSA told the court he only served 11 months.
The witness had earlier told the court that the Dasuki instructed him to prepare the payment in favour of Azibaola’s company. He also said the former National Security Adviser personally endorsed a memo which contained details of OnePlus Holdings account to him.
He also said that several other firms were awarded security contracts in excess of the said amount approved for the Azibaola’s company.
“At least nine officials in the office of the NSA minuted on the payment warrant before OnePlus Holdings was credited with $40m.”
He further admitted the he effected the payment based on the conviction contract met due process requirements to have been endorsed by nine top ONSA officials.
He said while ONSA does not advertise its security contracts, certain contracts are given codenames for security reasons.
Mahe also told the court he was not part of the bidding process for the procurement if security gadgets. He said his duty remained disbursing funds approved for security contracts while at ONSA.
After his cross examination, Uche prayed the court for an adjournment to enable the defense team cross examine the second prosecution witness, Olabode Fanilola.
Justice Nnamdi Dimgba adjourned the matter to October 6, 7 and 19 for continuation of trial.

Author: News Editor

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