A tip from a whistle-blower Monday led operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to intercept huge sums of money in various currencies at the popular Balogun market in Lagos. The monies include €547,730 and £21,090 as well as N5,648,500 . The total haul is about N250m at the prevailing exchange rate at the parallel market.
The catch followed information that about N250 million cash was being moved somewhere in the market for conversion into foreign currencies by unnamed persons. Operatives responded timely and met the money in a bureau de change’s office, but a large chunk of it had been converted into euro and pounds sterling.
The BDC operators found in possession of the monies claimed they were acting on behalf of their boss who sent the money to them from one of the northern states in Nigeria.
Two persons apprehended in the course of the raid are helping the Commission in its investigation.
…And Kalu Loses Bid to Stop Witness from Giving Evidence in N3.2bn Fraud
Again, a former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu, on Monday, April 10, 2017, failed in his bid to stop a prosecution witness, Christiana O., a manager with the United Bank of Africa (UBA), Umuaka branch, Umuahia, Abia State, from giving further evidence in a criminal charge of N3.2 billion brought against him by the EFCC before Justice Muhammed Idris of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos.
At the last sitting, Kalu, through his lead counsel, Mike Ozekhome, SAN, had raised an objection to the witness giving further testimony on the grounds of an alleged error in the additional proof of evidence filed by the prosecution.
However, during Monday’s hearing, Justice Idris said that granting the prayer of the defence would amount to injustice on the part of the prosecution, since PW2 (prosecution witness 2)had already started giving her evidence in the case.
The judge also held that the signatory to the additional proof of evidence had complied with the provisions of professional conduct.
Consequently, PW2, while being led in in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, gave a blow-by-blow account of some bank drafts allegedly issued at Government House, Umuahia , during the administration of the former governor.
The bank drafts were tendered and admitted in evidence as exhibits B1 to B33.
In his testimony, PW2 told the court that the sum of N25 million and another N15 million were paid into the account of one M. A. Udoh on April 7, 2005.
She further revealed that Udoh allegedly collected the money the same day.
“Other drafts for N15 million and N26 million were issued in favour of R.K Madu on August 2, 2005.
” He also withdrew the money the same day from Inland Bank Plc., ” she added.
However, while under cross-examination by Goddy Uche, SAN, counsel to the first defendant, the witness stated that she did not see the name or picture of Kalu in the mandate card.
” Kalu did not come to me to open or process any of the bank drafts,” she told the court.
The case was adjourned to Tuesday, April 11, 2017, for continuation of trial.
— By Wilson Uwujaren
Head, media & publicity, EFCC