How unspent N84m was diverted – ICPC witnesses
Two witnesses of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) have told a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court how the unspent N84million was diverted by a civil servant, a banker and another suspect.
The accused persons are Johnson Kolawole, a staff of the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF); Ayodele O. Omolayo, Head of Operations, First Bank Plc, Ikorodu Branch and one Adeniji Bisiru Adekunle.
They were arraigned before Justice Uthman Musa of FCT High Court 18 in Jabi.
The accused persons were arraigned by the ICPC for criminal conspiracy, abuse of office and use of forged documents.
The 11 -count charge includes furnishing a false return to the OAGF by concealing the receipt of a Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) cheque No: 00001902 and a Zenith Bank cheque No: 0000468 issued by the National Population Commission (NPC) for unspent funds for the year 2007 which were to be paid back to the Federation account.
They are also standing trial for allegedly cloning and clearing the said cheques to defraud the Federal Government of N84, 499,636.99.
Besides, they are accused of withdrawing various sums of money at different times and purchasing 11,800 bags of rice from Olam Nigeria Limited with the cloned cheques.
Spokesperson for ICPC, Mrs. Rasheedat Okoduwa, said in a statement that “two witnesses, referred to as Prosecution Witness 7 and 8 (PW 7 & 8), gave testimonies as trial resumed on the matter.
“PW8 was led in evidence via examination-in-chief by ICPC’s counsel, John Paul Okwor, while PW 7 gave his evidence when he was being cross-examined by the defence lawyer, Mr. A.O. Amao.
“The testimonies of the witnesses corroborated the allegations in the charge that the money was stolen in tranches using the CBN and Zenith Bank cloned cheques issued by the National Population Commission in favour of the Sub-Treasurer of the Federation.
“The accused persons’ actions are contrary to sections 13, 16, 17, 24, 26 and punishable under sections 13, 16, 17, 19, 24 and 68 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.
“They had pleaded not guilty to all the charges preferred against them and that set the tone for the trial to commence.
“After the testimonies of the witnesses, the trial judge adjourned the case to 26th June, 2017 for cross-examination of PW8 by the defence counsel.”