Ex-PDP Chair Bello Received N300m From ONSA By Proxy – Witness
Aliyu Mohammed Mukddas, a Senior Manager with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) who is also a witness in the trial a former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Haliru Bello on Wednesday, May 24, 2017 told Justice A. R. Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Abuja how Bam Projects and Properties, a company owned by former PDP chair, was paid N300million by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).
Bello and his son are on trial alongside their Company, Bam Project and Properties Limited, on a 4-count charge of money laundering preferred against them by the EFCC.
They were alleged to have collected N300million from the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, being part of the funds meant to fight insurgency in the North-East of the country.
Testifying as PW6, Mukddas, who was led in evidence by counsel to the EFCC, O. A. Atolagbe, told the court that the narration on the payment mandate showed that the payment was given as “Safe Houses” which the amount was for N300million. Although, when asked by the prosecuting counsel if it is the duty of CBN to know if the contract was executed, the witness replied in the negative.
The witness, who was manager, between 2010 and 2015, gave details on procedures for payment to Ministries, Department and Agencies.
According to him, agencies would bring their payment schedule showing the date, name of the organization, amount in words/figure and details of beneficiaries. He added that the schedule must be duly signed by signatories of that organization after which it would be brought by the confirmation officer.
“The confirmation would be done before us with his name, signature, date and thumb print,” he said.
The PW6 further stated that, “when the payment schedule is received, the CBN passes it for verification of signatories and also check account balance before it is passed for payment”.
When asked if he knows of an ONSA account, he told the court that, “it is an account managed by CBN and it is funded by Office of Accountant General of the Federation.”
According to him, “the account has two source of funding, sometime from office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and mostly from the Accountant General of the Federation.”
Mukddas told the court that, “between 2012 and 2015, the main signatory to the account was Sambo Dasuki and also another signatory was the then Director Finance and Account S. A. Salisu, while the confirmation officer was Yazeed Ibrahim”.
The witness was shown Exhibit PL 5, which is one of the payment mandate paid and asked to explain the procedures followed in making payment to which he said, “the mandate in PL5 was brought from ONSA by Yazeed Ibrahim and he confirmed the mandate to us”.
He added that all due process was followed.
Asked by Atolagbe what he meant by all due process was followed; the witness replied that, “that means all signatories have signed, thumb printed, amount given in words and figures and that the confirmation officer have confirmed same”.
Justice Mohammed, thereafter, adjourned to July 5, 2017 for further trial.
Dr Mohammed Bello Haliru In Court
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)