By Soni Daniel, Northern Region Editor
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, yesterday, tabled before an Abuja Federal High Court details of how the former Imo State Governor, Mr. Ikedi Ohakim, paid for a property he is currently living in Asokoro District in Abuja with cash of $2,900,000 (equivalent of N270 million) in one day.
The revelation was made by the anti-graft agency at the resumption of proceedings in the trial of Ohakim before Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court Abuja.
The prosecution witness who gave a blow-by-blow account of how the former governor made a cash payment for a piece of land at Plot No. 1098 Cadastral Zone A04, Asokoro District, otherwise known as No.60, Kwame Nkrumah Street, Asokoro, Abuja, also tendered statements already volunteered by the suspects in the matter.
Justice Ademola had admitted Ohakim to bail on Thursday, July 9, 2015, following his arraignment on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on a three-count charge bordering on money laundering.
At the hearing, prosecution witness, Ishaya Dauda, said investigation into the alleged offence began in 2010, after the commission received petitions coupled with intelligence reports.
Led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Festus Keyamo, Dauda, a Senior Detective Superintendent with the EFCC, said the accused person, who served as Imo State governor between 2007 and 2011, was invited to the EFCC office in 2013.
“I gave him the petitions to go through and asked him if he would be willing to volunteer a statement or not and he answered in the affirmative. I then administered the word of caution and EFCC statement form on him. I also asked him whether he understood the word of caution and he said yes; then, he signed the form, indicating that he understood the word of caution,” he told the court.
According to him, the accused person was given the EFCC Asset Declaration form to fill, in addition to his statements that were obtained five times between 2013 and 2015.
Copies of the five statements, which were obtained on January 25, 2013; January 31, 2013; June 18, 2015; June 22, 2015 and June 29, 2015, were tendered and admitted in evidence as exhibits EFCC 1 to five.
Giving further evidence, Dauda said the accused person made copious statements regarding the said property.
“Working on the intelligence reports at our disposal, after the accused person had declared his assets, it was discovered that there was no banking transaction for the purchase of the property. We found out that only cash payment was made in respect of the property. So, we took the accused person to the property. When we brought him back to our office, we asked him who owns the property and he said he rented the property through one Abu Sule, Managing Director, Tweeenex Consociate H.D. Limited.”