How Former Abia Gov, Kalu Drew Money from State Account for Personal Use – Witness

A witness in the ongoing trial of former Governor of Abia, Orji Kalu, who is standing trial on charges of N3.2bn fraud, told the court on Monday how the ex-Governor withdrew various sums of money from the state account for personal use.
The witness, Robinson Imafidon, the Head of Regulatory Liaison in a first generation bank, narrated how a series of monetary transactions were carried out on the account of the Abia State Government House during the tenure of Kalu.
He is the 16th persecution witness to testify against Kalu.
The EFCC had on October 31, 2016 slammed a 34-count charge bordering on N3.2bn fraud on Kalu and his former Commissioner for Finance, Ude Udeogo (the second accused).
Also charged is Kalu’s company, Slok Nig. Ltd.
The accused were alleged to have retained about N2.5bn in different accounts which funds were said to belong to the Abia State Government.
Cumulatively in all the counts, the accused were alleged to have diverted over N3.2bm from the Abia State Government’s treasury during Mr Kalu’s tenure as governor.
The offences contravened the provisions of Sections 15(6), 16, and 21 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2005.
The offences also contravened the provisions of the Money Laundering Act of 1995 (as amended) by the amendment Act No.9 of 2002 and Section 477 of the Criminal Code, Laws of the Federation, 1990.
The accused had pleaded not guilty to the charges and were granted bails.
The witness told the court that on May 31, 2002, there were two cash deposits by the second accused in the sums of N2m and N7.3m respectively.
The witness said that on June 3, a draft of N10m was paid by the second accused, while on July 1, there was an issue of a demand draft of N11m and another draft of N15 m on Aug. 19.
He said on September 16, 2002, there were two cash deposits of N50,000 and N5m respectively by one M. A Udoh, who was an accountant in Abia at the time.
Under cross-examination, Awa Kalu, counsel to the first accused, asked the witness, “how many times have you testified in all your life?”
In response, the witness told the court that he had testified several times before law courts but could not recall how many times.
On whether it is the practice for two people to append their signatures on a document as shown in some of the exhibits, the witness replied, “two people may sign, but there are exceptions.
“When one of the signatories is not available, then someone else can sign; more so, where the issue is not so significant, then one person may sign.”
The defence counsel then asked that the witness should be showed exhibit B, and asked the witness: “when do you archive a transaction?”
The witness answered, ”There was no specific time to archive a transaction,” adding that once a transaction was concluded and thoroughly verified, ”it goes to the archive”.
The counsel also asked, ”do you know how many of your colleagues have testified in the instant case?” to which the witness replied: ”No”.
The judge, Mohammed Idris, adjourned cotinuation of trial until April 17.

Author: News Editor

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