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Graft Trial: Ex-Kogi gov, Audu inflated contracts – Witness

By Soni Daniel, Regional Editor, North

Abuja—The trial of former governor of Kogi State, Abubakar Audu and Alfa Ibn Mustapha, former director general, Directorate of Rural Development in his administration continued, yesterday under Justice A.O Adeniyi of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, sitting in Apo, Abuja.

The accused persons are being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for offences bordering on criminal breach of trust and misappropriation of public funds to the tune of N10.9 billion

At the resumed hearing of the case yesterday, the first prosecution witness, Lewechi Terry Ozoemenam, managing director of Leoflench Nigeria Limited, who was led in evidence by counsel to EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, told the court that his company executed most of the water projects of the Directorate of Rural Development from 1999-2003.

Ozoemenam stated that the contracts executed by his company were about seven and that none was above N18 million.

He listed the projects carried out by his firm to include: drilling of boreholes in Abjukolo Egwe and Odolo; Ogbonicha, Olla water borehole water; Ajanojo, Omabave Ajakwu and Olubojo Ojuwo Uferene; Oyidi School and Ogbonicha, all valued at N53 million.

However when confronted with a document showing that he carried out many projects valued at about N50 million, the witnessed objected to the receipts, saying they were forged as he had never come across them.

He said he had neither executed the said projects nor collected the huge amount ascribed to his firm.

According to him, the receipt was forged as the signature was not his.

The witness said, “I have never handled any contract up to N18m let alone signing a project worth N49m “, Ozoemenam told the court.

The prosecution witness also denied having knowledge of four other vouchers for additional payment for water projects valued at N110 million.

“All these documents are forged, my lord”, Ozoemenam said.

The case has been adjourned to Thursday, January 29, 2015 for continuation of hearing.



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