Alleged 3.1bn Naira Fraud: Suswam’s Trial Adjourned Until Tuesday

suswamThe trial of the former Benue State Governor, Gabriel Suswam, in the case of alleged criminal diversion of 3.1 billion Naira brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has been adjourned till February 15.

During Monday’s hearing, some documents were tendered by the EFCC before the court presided over by Justice Ahmed Mohammed as exhibits.

They were presented through a prosecution witness, Mrs Bridgid Shietu, who is the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer the Benue Investment and Property Company Limited (BIPCL).

Also standing trial is the former Governor’s Commissioner for Finance, Mr Omadachi Okolobia.

The documents tendered as exhibit through the witness include a letter written by the EFCC to the Corporate Affairs Commission, requesting for the certificate of incorporation of the BIPCL.

She told the court that the former Governor gave the approval for the sales of the shares in some blue chip companies belonging to the Benue State government.

When asked whether she was aware that one of the accounts in which the proceeds of some of the share were credited did not belong to the Benue State government, the witness said no.

She explained that one of the accounts was owned by a private company, but stressed that the account numbers were giving to her by the Commissioner for Finance via the ministry’s letter headed paper.

Mrs Sheitu had earlier told the court that the shares in various stock brokerage firms were sold through a private firm, Elixir Nigeria Limited, for about nine billion Naira on the final directive of the former Governor, when the state witnessed financial down-turn.

After the witness gave her testimony, Justice Mohammed adjourned the case to Tuesday, February 15, to enable the defence counsel cross-examine the witness.

EFCC Reveals How Ex-Governor Suswam Allegedly Diverted N3.1billion

SuswamThe Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has given a detailed account of how former Governor of Benue State, Mr Gabriel Suswam and his Finance Commissioner, Mr. Omadachi Okolobia allegedly diverted over 3.1 billion naira belonging to Benue State government.

At the resumed trial before a Federal High Court in Abuja, a detective with the EFCC, Mr. Junaidu Sa’id, told the court that investigation by his team revealed that ex-Governor Suswam instructed that shares owned by the Benue State Government in the Benue Investment and Property Company be sold off for the sum of N10 billion.

Upon the order, the witness said that Elixir Investment Partners was appointed as stockbrokers to carry out the sales of the shares, during which over N9 billion was realized.

Elixir Investment Partners, the witness said, was thereafter instructed to pay the N9 billion into three different bank accounts of the State Ministry of Finance.

He said N5 billion was paid into the account of Benue State Ministry of Finance by Elixir Investment Partners, while a total sum of N3.1 billion was paid into Fanffash Resources account.

The witness said that the owner of Fanfash Resources, Abubakar Umar, was invited by the EFCC, who confirmed that he received N3.1 billion in his company account and converted same to dollar equivalent, amounting to $15.8 million and that he delivered same in cash to former Governor Suswam at his Maitama Residence in Abuja.

He told the court that the Finance Commissioner confirmed issuing directives for the payments to be made to Fanffash Resources and Benue State Ministry of Finance.

The court adjourned till January 18 and 19, 2016 for cross examination of the witness and continuation of hearing.