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Published On: Fri, Mar 29th, 2019

N3.6b Fraud Allegation: Court Grants Ex-NDDC Director, Tuoyo, Others Bail


LAGOS MARCH 29TH (URHOBOTODAY)-A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has granted the former Executive Director Project, Niger Delta Development Commission, Tuoyo Omatsuli and others bail over alleged N3.6 billion fraud as Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Wednesday opened its case in the trial.
The anti-graft agency on November 8, 2018 arraigned Omatsuli alongside Don Parker Properties Limited, Francis Momoh and Building Associates Limited before Justice Saliu Saidu on a 45-count charge bordering on the alleged offence.
They each pleaded not guilty to the charge and were granted bail.
On Wednesday, EFCC Counsel, Ekene Iheanacho, called the first witness for the prosecution, Eyo Bassey, a software developer and contractor.
Being led in evidence by Basset, the witness said he executed contracts for the commission as well as for the Akwa Ibom, Imo and Abia States Governments.
According to TheEagle online report, the witness also narrated how huge sums of money was transferred to the account of two of his companies by Omatsuli in 2014.
He said: “In 2014, while a contractor with the commission, I came in contact with Mr. Tuoyo Omatsuli. In the course of our interaction, I told him that I run an online platform and I do a lot of imports.
“I also told him that because of my engagement in import, I was able to source for foreign currencies. He later called me on phone and told me that some money will be transferred into my account.
“I got an initial sum of N80 million transferred into the Heritage Bank account of one of my companies, Asiladrrin Global Consulting Limited, and I converted the money into dollars as directed by Mr. Tuoyo.”
The witness also said he had an inflow of N340 million in two tranches of N160 million and N180 million into the company’s account within the same period.
He said he also converted the money into dollars and handed it over to Tuoyo, the NDDC’s Executive Director of Finance and Administration as well as the NDDC’s MD.
The witness further said sometime in January 2015, he also got a call from the first defendant (Tuoyo) telling him that he will be getting a payment from a company known as Building Associate.
He said he later got an inflow of N349 million into the Heritage Bank account of his company, College-Pro Synergy Limited.
He added: “I was furnished with an account of a firm, Greenhouse Investment, owned by the Special Assistant on Finance to the then NDDC’s MD, to which I transferred N100 million. And the balance was converted to dollars as directed by Mr. Tuoyo.”
When asked by the EFCC counsel whether he executed any contract for Building Associate Limited to warrant the transfer of the fund to his company’s account, he said: “I did not execute any contract for Building Associate.”
Under cross-examination by defence counsel, Prof. Amuda Kehinde (SAN), the witness said he did not transfer any money to the first defendant’s account.
He maintained that his oral testimony was part of the statement he wrote on August 14, 2017 for the EFCC.
Continuation of trial will resume on April 14.

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