A former Governor of Imo state, Ikedi Ohakim, has made a “no case submission” before a Federal High Court in Abuja, Friday
The counsel to Mr. Ohakim, Awa Kalu, told Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court in Abuja that the evidences so far by the prosecution against the former Governor do not necessitate the commencement of any defence.
Ohakim is accused of buying a property at No. 60 Kwame Nkruma Street Cadastral Zone, Asokoro, Abuja, and failing to declare same.
He had told the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission that he bought the property with the dollar equivalent of N250 million paid to him by a man who bought his property in Maitama.
On Friday, the man who bought the property, Scott Tommey, told the court that the former Governor lied by claiming that he was paid in dollars.
Tommey, a businessman based in Port Harcourt, admitted buying Ohakim’s land in Maitama, Abuja, in 2012, but said the payment for the land was done through bank transfer and in Naira.
“It is totally false that he (the defendant) claimed that I paid him in US dollars. I paid through fund transfer. I never paid in cash,” Tommey told the court.
“We never mentioned dollars in our transaction. It was agreed that it was going to be a bank transaction,” said the witness.
Tommey also explained that he met Ohakim once, during the period preceding the land sale.
“He had a property in Maitama, which was up for sale. And I was in search of a property to develop. I had an agent, who got the property, which was the former governor’s land.
“I met him and we agreed to a total cost of N250 million, which was paid to him through bank transfer from my account with Sterling Bank to Fidelity Bank where he had an account. I paid in naira,” Tommey said.
Another witness, who testified earlier regarding the same transaction, said an investigation by the EFCC had confirmed that the payment was made in Nigerian currency, and through Bank transfer, as stated by Tommey.
The witness, Nura Bako, an EFCC operative, said he got to know the defendant in the course of investigation in 2012.
“We arrested him in his house and brought him to the office. Part of what I did in the investigation was to write some banks, precisely Sterling Bank and Fidelity Bank, concerning the complain of one Mr. Scott (the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Merryl-fynch Nigeria Limited, who paid N250m into the defendant’s account.
“He (Mr. Scott) gave us the account details and that of his company, with Sterling Bank and our team wrote to sterling Bank for the Account Opening Package as well as for and instructions on the said account,” Bako stated.
The court adjourned till June 6 to hear the arguments of the counsel regarding the “no-case submission” of the defence and to rule on the matter.