Turnah, ex NDDC MD’s adviser, others re-arraigned for fraud, money laundering
A former Special Adviser to a one time Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dan Abia, Mr. George Turnah was on Monday re-arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for faud and money laundering charges to the tune of N2.9 billion.
Turnah was re-arraigned alongside Ebis Orubebe and Uzorgor Silas Chidiebere and nine companies on 23 count charge bordering on fraud, abuse of office, obtaining under false pretence and money laundering.
A statement by the EFCC spokesman, Wilson Iwajuren gave the names of the companies arraigned alongside Turnah before Justice Mohammed Turaki of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt, by the Port Harcourt zonal office of the EFCC, to include El- Godams Global Services Ltd., Turnoil and Gas Nigeria Ltd., Kolo Creek Petroleum Development Ltd., Celtic Pride Consult and Events Ltd., Yenagoa Mall Ltd., the Incorporated Trustees of Concerned Niger Delta Initiative, Akara Boro Marine Services Ltd., Sugarland Integrated Farms Nig. Ltd and Geohan Telecommunications Nig. Ltd.
The statement reads in part: “Count 6 of the charge reads: “that you George Turnah Alabh, Uzogor Silas Chidiebere, El-Godams Global Services Ltd., Turnoil and Gas Nigeria Ltd, Kolo Creek Petroleum Dev. Ltd, Celtic Pride Consult and Events Ltd, Yenagoa Mall Ltd, The Incorporated Trustees of Concerned Niger Delta Initiative, Adaka Boro Marine Services Ltd, Sugarland Integrated Farms Nig. Ltd, Geohan Telecommunication Nig. Ltd and others at large, on or about the 24th day of November, 2014, at Port Harcourt, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did take possession of the sum of Seven Hundred and Eight Million Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N708,500,000.00) which you reasonably ought to know that the monies is obtained by a false pretence from the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) purportedly for the purpose of providing quick win jobs for 300 youths and women groups and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under 15 (3) of the same Act”.
“Count 23 of the charge reads, “that you George Turnah Alabh in 2014 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did receive the sum of $1000,000.00 (One Million United State Dollars) (at the exchange rate of N184 to a Dollar) cash from one Umar Lawal of Hakuri Global Concept exceeding the statutory limit without going through a financial institution and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 16 (2) (b) of the same Act”.
“They pleaded “not guilty” to the charges when they were read to them. Prosecution counsel, I. Agwu, adopted the subsisting evidence on record, praying the court that “we shall not be calling any other witness or any other prosecution witness who earlier testified before this court.”
The statement further disclosed that the Defense counsel, Professor Amuda Kaneke, SAN, prayed the court that the defendants be allowed to maintain the bail earlier granted them.
He also prayed the court for an adjournment so as to enable him study the new amended charges before proceeding with his defense.
Justice Turaki, while granting the two prayers of the defense counsel, adjourned the matter till 15, 16 and 17 of March, 2021.