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Alleged N104.7m Fraud: EFCC Presents Additional Witness Against Masari


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Tuesday, presented the third witness (PW3) in the ongoing trial of the former Director General of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Umar Bature Masari before Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

Masari, who is accused of engaging in money laundering and gratification, is standing trial for an amended 22-count charge. He was first arraigned before the trial judge on April 10, 2019 on a 17-count charge.

At the resumed sitting, Tuesday, the witness, Remmy Ugwu, a compliance officer of Zenith Bank, while being led in evidence by counsel for the EFCC, E.E. Iheanacho, told the court that he liaises with law enforcement agencies and regulators, and also attends to requests from them.

He said: “In August 2018, the EFCC submitted a request at our head office in Lagos asking for account opening document, certificate of identification, and the request was sent to me to generate the request in our Maitama office Abuja.

“I generated the requested document and forwarded to my boss in Lagos to sign the covering memo and then passed it to the EFCC office in Lagos.”

He also told the court that on November 24, 2014 the account of Engineer Habu Ozigi and one Felicia had N5,434.76.

He said: “On November 28, 2014 there was inflow of N9m from Diamond Bank account of Bature Umar Masari.

“The outflow to Abubakar Mahmud Wambai was N2.85m and another credit of N3m to Anthony Madwate.

“On the same day, there was a cheque with No. 462 of one hundred and forty thousand naira, which was paid to Engr. Habu.”

He further told the court that there was a credit of N3m to Bature’s GTB account.

The judge, thereafter, adjourned the case to October 16, 2019 for continuation of trial, and fixed November 7, 2019, to rule on an application filed by the defence seeking to quash the charges.

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