How Former Aide to Dasuki, Col. Ashinze Laundered N5.6billion from ONSA

Col. Nicholas Ashinze, former aide to the erstwhile National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd), laundered N5.6bn from the office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).
This revelation came to light Tuesday, when a prosecution witness narrated before a Federal High Court, Abuja, in the ongoing trial of Ashinze and others, how the money was ferried from the ONSA.
The first prosecution witness, Hassan Seidu, who is an EFCC operative said he was part of the team that conducted search in Ashinze’s house located at 67 Vision Court Estate Apo, Abuja.
Nicholas Ashinze is standing tril along with an Austrian, Wolfgang Reinl, Edidiong Idiong and Sagir Mohammed on a 13-count charge of corruption and money laundering to the tune of N36. 8bn
Other defendants in the case are five companies Geonel Integrated Services Limited, Unity Continental Nigeria Limited, Helpline Organisation, Vibrant Resource Limited and Sologic Integrated Service Limited.
The witness said on Dec. 23, 2015, Ashinze was brought to their office for interview and after the interview he was asked if he would be able to respond to allegation of money laundering against him.
He said after accepting, Ashinze’s statement was recorded but it was one of his colleagues, Mohammed Goje, who administered the precautionary words to him where he signed and voluntarily wrote his statement.
Seidu further said that following Ashinze’s statement, they conducted a search of his house at Apo, where some items were recovered.
When the prosecuting counsel, Ofem Uket, sought to tender the search warrant as evidence, the move was objected by the defence team.
Mr L.S. Nwoye, counsel to Ashinze objected to the admissibility of the document saying it had no date.
Nwoye sited Section 147 of Administrative of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), Which state that a document must have date on it for identification.
He said even though the search warrant emanates from a magistrate, it was not addressed to anybody and the name of magistrate was not written.
Court said issues raised are omissions of details and cannot be invalidated.
Justice Gabriel Kolawale, however, admitted the search warrant in evidence as exhibit two.
He also admitted items recovered which are one black diary, one blue notebook and one page of unsigned document written in red ink dated 17 April 2014 in evidence as exhibit 2a, b and c respectively.
The witness also said the one page of unsigned document written in red ink (exhibit 2c) contained list of 5 companies, their banks and account numbers of each of the company with amount that has been transferred to them.
He said they got analysis of it and found out that N3.125bn was transferred to the account of Geonel Integrated Services (5th defendant) with Heritage Enterprise Bank from the Central Bank Nigeria (CBN).
“N120m was transferred to Unity Continental Nigeria Limited (6th defendant) on April 22, 2014 and N150m in favour of Law partners and Associates with Zenith bank on April 22, 2014.
” N500m was also transferred from Geonel with Heritage Enterprise Bank to Helpline account (7th defendant) on April 24, 2014 and N100m was transferred from Herritage Enterprise to GTB account of Vibrant Resources Ltd (8th defendant) on April 23, 2014.
“On April 23, 2014, Sologic Integrated (9th defendant) got N120m from Geonel’s account at Herritage Enterprise and Law Partners also received N450m another payment which is not in the document on May 5, 2014.
“The N450m was transferred from Geonel’s account domiciled in Herritage Enteriprise and it was the only transaction not captured in the document,’’ Seidu said.
The witness further stated that they found out that the document (exhibit 2c) was prepared three days after N3.125bn was given value in the account of Geonel Intergrated Service Limited.
He said they also found out that N2.5bn was transferred from CBN to Geonel’s account on Feb 16, 2015 and the contract was awarded from ONSA to Geonel Integrated Services.
He said the N3.125bn was for a purported contract given to Geonel as mobilization fee in securing 22 dams in Nigeria and the N2.5bn was for full and final payment of the purported contract.
When asked by the prosecution the relationship of the defendants with the companies, the witness said Unity Continental Nigeria Ltd is owned by Sagir Mohammed (4th defendant), who is a course mate and friend to Dasuki.
“Law Partners and Associate belongs to Barr Edidiong the 3rd defendant who is a friend and associate to Dasuki.
“Helpline Organisation is owned by Bello Fadile, who was formerly second in command to Dasuki.
“Vibrant Resources belongs to Abubakar Dasuki, junior brother to Dasuki and Sologic Integrated Services Nig. Ltd belongs to Bello Ibiyemi Abayomi, son of Bello Fadili,” he said.
Seidu said afterexecution of the search on Dec. 29, 2015, “we asked Ashinze if he would make statement in relation to the items recovered from his house, he accepted and we recorded it.”
The prosecution applied to tender the defendant statement in evidence.
Nwoye, however, objected to admissibility of the statement based on Section 6 of ACJA which demands voluntary giving of statement.
He argued that Section 17 (1) and (2) requires presence of lawyer before statement can be taken and that the EFCC investigators did not counsel him on the need to keep silent.
Nwoye insisted that the witness did not at any time inform the 1st defendant of his right to bring his lawyer before making statement.
The prosecution said Ashinze was not compelled to write statement in EFCC’s office rather he voluntarily wrote it.
Justice Kolawale after hearing the arguments ladjourned till March 21 for ruling on admissibility of statement and continuation of examination of witness.

Author: News Editor

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