… Case adjourned till March 13
ADE Babatunde, a prosecution witness and staff of StanbicIBTC Bank yesterday gave detailed evidence enumerating how funds belonging to the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) were allegedly diverted to personal use by its former Managing Director, Ibrahim Abdulsalam and others.The witness, gave the account at the resumed trial of Abdulsalam, who is charged with alleged theft of N6.8 billion from the agency alongside former General Manager for Procurement, Olumuyiwa Adegorite; a former General Manager for Finance, Segun Agbolade; a former acting General Manager for ICT, Bolaniran Akinribido; Sesebor Abiodun and Joy Adegorite.
Also charged are two limited liability companies, Randville investment Ltd, and Multeng Travels and Tours Ltd.
Prosecutor of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, resumed his examination of the first witness asked the court for exhibit ‘A’ to be handed over to the witness and also asked the witness to tell the court about the transaction highlighted as exhibit 002.
In response, the witness told the court that the said exhibit was in relation to the account statement of Segun Agbolade (third accused) with account number 9201060421.
The witness described “002” to mean a transaction description or a narration for posting transactions.
He told the court that between January 2 and January 3, 2013, there were transactions with narration 002, for the transfer of N13.1 million from the account of Akinribido (fourth accused) to Agbolade (third accused).
He said that the transfer came in tranches of N3.1 million on January 2 and in two tranches of N5 million each, on January 3, 2013.
According to the witness, the balance on Agbolade’s account as at January 3, 2013 stood at N27.8 million.
While giving further evidence, the witness stated: “Still on January 3, 2013, the sum of N10 million was transferred to Randville Investment Ltd. The sums of N8 million and N7.7 million was also transferred to one Masama bureau de change by the third accused,”
Oyedepo then itemised a list of transaction narration in exhibit 002 from January 9, 2013 to October 15, 2015, and asked the witness to tell the court where the said funds in the transactions emerged.
In response, the witness told the court that all funds were pulled from the account of Akinribido to the third accused, Agbolade.
He said on January 17, 2013, there was a transfer of N10 million to Randsville Investment Ltd.
The witness introduced Randville investment Ltd as a corporate customer of his bank and added that from the account opening document, the company is owned by Segun and Susan Agbolade.
According to him, the mandate for the operation of the account required the signature of either of the account holders, adding that Randville Investment Ltd. maintained a total of 11 accounts with the bank.
He told the court that between February 1, 2013, and February 25, 2013, there was also a transfer of the sum of N5 million from the account of the third accused to Multeng Travel and Tours Ltd, who were also corporate customers of his bank.
According to him, the two signatories to the account of Multeng Travels and Tours are: Olumuyiwa Adegorite (second accused) and Joy Adegorite (fifth accused).
He further told the court that on March 22, 2013, there were seven different transactions, but specifically the sixth transaction revealed a monetary transfer of N3.5 million from the account of Abdulsalam to Agbolade.
He added that on June 17, 2013, there were two debit transactions in the sum of N6 million, transferred in two tranches of N3 million each, to the account of Multeng Travels and Tours.
The witness said further that between January 22 and February 24, 2014, there was a transfer of N17 million by the third accused to Multeng Travels and Tours.
He added that between January 30 and February 5, 2015, there was also a transfer of a cumulative sum of over N15.5 million to Gidan bureau de change, Antopie Construction Company and Susan Agbolade.
After listening to the testimony of the witness, Justice Babs Kuewumi adjourned the case to March 13, for continuation of trial.
The EFCC had on April 7, 2016 arraigned the accused persons and they had all pleaded not guilty to the charge,
The charge was amended to include three more accused persons and all the accused persons were re-arraigned on April 12, 2016.
They, again, pleaded not guilty to the charge and were admitted to bail in the sums of N20 million each, with two sureties each in like sum.
In the charge, the EFCC alleged that on August 19, 2013, the accused persons conspired to induce NAMA to deliver the sum of N2.8 billion to Delosa Ltd, Air Sea Delivery Ltd and Sea Schedules Systems Ltd.
It was alleged that the delivery was under the pretence that the money represented the cost of clearing NAMA’s consignments.
It was also alleged that between January 2 and December 17, 2013, the accused persons allegedly converted N191 million belonging to NAMA to their private use.
They were said to have also converted N728 million between 2013 and 2015, as well as other sums.