EFCC presents first witness in ex-Gov Yero’s trial for alleged money laundering
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Thursday presented its first witness in the trial of Kano State governor, Muktar Ramalan Yero, for alleged money laundering.
The EFCC re-arraigned Yero at the Federal High Court, Kaduna, in November 2018 over his alleged involvement in the sharing of N700 million released for 2015 presidential election by former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.
The witness, Jonah Abimaje, who was the acting Head of Regional Operations in a new generation bank at the time, was led in evidence by the EFCC counsel, Nasiru Salele.
He explained how the funds received by the bank from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) were collected by the defendants.
Abimaje said: “On the 26th March, 2015 I got a mail from Mr. Martins Izuoge, a Divisional Head of Operations, followed by a phone call, informing me of a payment of N700million and the identities of the beneficiaries.
“At about 5:00 p.m., Mr. Abubakar Gaiya Haruna and Mr. Nuhu Somo Waya came to collect the money. I asked them to come when the money was available for collection because my team was still at the CBN.
“When the money finally arrived at about 8:00 p.m., we arranged the money at cash loading area at our regional branch, Ali Akilu. I then called the 2nd and 4th defendants to sign a cash collection form as evidence of collection which they did.
“The cash was confirmed by the 2nd and 4th defendant. They loaded the money into sacks and departed the bank at about 11:00 p.m. The signed collection form was dispatched to Lagos alongside the identity cards of the collectors.”
The witness said the money was simply paid in cash and did not pass through any personal account.
Justice Z.B. Abubakar adjourned the case till February 23 at the instance of the EFCC to enable them to bring the forms mentioned by the witness.