Alleged N29bn Fraud: Court Admits More Evidence Against Nyako
Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja on Monday admitted in evidence documents tendered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against a former governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako.
The former governor is standing trial on 37 counts of conspiracy, stealing, abuse of office and money laundering to the tune of N29bn.
One of the documents which were tendered through the 12th prosecution witness, Caroline Utsaha, showed that a total of N80m deposit was made in a day in the name of Blue Opal Limited, one of the companies allegedly used by the former governor to siphon the state funds.
According to a statement from the EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, the documents tendered and admitted in evidence include a letter dated July 21, 2014, captioned “Re-Investigation Activities”, with the account name – Blue Opal Limited – Exhibit H1; a letter dated August 15, 2014, captioned “Re-Investigation Activities”, with the account name – Opal Corporate Limited – Exhibit H2; and a letter dated February 26, 2015, captioned “Re-Investigation Activities”, with the account name – Crust Energy Limited which was admitted as Exhibit H3.
Utsaha, a relationship manager with the First Bank, while being led in evidence by counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs, said: “In 2014, the EFCC wrote our Bank, requesting for details of the accounts packages and statements of accounts of three accounts. The accounts were: Blue Opal Limited, Opal Corporate Limited and Crust Energy Limited. I got all they requested and did a forwarding letter to the Commission and also did an identification letter, indicating that the statements and all the documents are from First Bank”.
When asked to look at Exhibit H1 and tell the court about the transactions therein, the witness said: “the entries here are series of deposits of Zenith bank cheque”.
“On March 29, 2012, there were eight deposits of Zenith bank cheque of N10m each. The deposits were done on the same day,” she added.
Justice Abang adjourned till July 4 for the continuation of hearing.
Nyako is being prosecuted alongside his son, Senator Abdul-Aziz Nyako as well as Abubakar Aliyu and Zulkifikk Abba.
Other companies that allegedly served as conduit pipes for the purported diversion of funds are Pagoda Fortunes Limited, Tower Assets Management Limited and Crust Energy Limited.