Justice E.O Abang of the Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja, on Monday, April 8, 2019, admitted more documents in evidence in the case of diversion of state fund and money laundering brought against the ex-governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako and others by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Nyako and others are facing a 37-count charge of money laundering allegedly perpetrated while Nyako was the governor of Adamawa State between January 2011 and December 2014.
During the continued trial today, prosecution witness 20, (PW20), an operative of the EFCC, under cross-examination by the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, told the court how the defendants, allegedly acquired Hill View Estate in Mpape, Abuja and added that in the cause of the investigation, that the fourth defendant Abubakar Aliu, who is said to be in-charge of finance of the fifth defendant supplied the commission with the list of subscribers to the estate.
The PW20 testified that the commission was in possession of the property documents which included: certified true copy of the application forms for the purchase of the estate, details of subscribers, financial records of subscribers, and the sales details of purchase of the property amongst others.
Jacobs tendered the documents which the judge admitted in evidence as exhibits LL43 (1)-LL43 (27), LL44 (1)-LL44 (3) and LL45.
Describing the content of the exhibits under the prosecution’s cross-examination, the witness said “the exhibits contain the names of companies and individuals that subscribed to Hill View Estate, the unit, type, the amount paid and amount outstanding”. According to him, Kirkelly Investment, one of the defendants in the trial, paid the sums of N50 milllion, N23 million, and N50 million, respectively, in cash between March and May 2012.
The prosecution witness also informed the court that two defendants who had earlier given the Commission useful information in the course of investigations are now unfortunately late. “It is in my evidence before your lordship that after the matter was investigated and before it was charged to court, one of the witnesses, Maji Iro died, and that same scenario played out in Abdulmalik. He was invited and made statement to the Commission, but before the matter could be charged to court, he also died.”
According to the witness, the former Secretary to the State Government, SSG, in Adamawa State, Kobis Ari Thummu, who was invited and his statement taken and was released on administrative bail has remained incommunicado and that the commission has made spirited efforts to track him down, to no avail. Same development the witness said has also played out with Mahmud Nyako, the seventh defendant, whom he disclosed has been nowhere to be found since he was also granted administrative bail, revealing that efforts are in top gear to re-arrest him through his sureties. The matter was adjourned to April 10, for cross-examination of the witness by the defence counsel.