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 on Wednesday, January 28, 2015 before Justice A.O Adeniyi of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, sitting in Apo, Abuja.
A statement by the Head, Media and Publicity of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren on Wednesday, said the accused persons are being prosecuted for offences bordering on criminal breach of trust and misappropriation of public funds to the tune of N10,965,837,040 (Ten billion Nine Hundred and Sixty Seven Thousand and Forty Naira).
At the resumed hearing of the case yesterday, the first prosecution witness, PW1, Lewechi Terry Ozoemenam, managing director of Leoflench Nigeria Limited who was lead 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, each was valued less than N18m (eighteen million naira). The projects 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.
According to the witness, the total costs of the said projects were not up to N53m (fifty three million).
When shown exhibit P10- “a document containing a voucher, receipt and cheque for construction of borehole in Ogbonicha valued N49, 649,000.00 (forty nine million six hundred and twenty thousand naira), Ozoemenam denied ever executing such project, nor collecting such money.
According to him, the receipt was forged as the signature was not his. “I have never handled any contract up to N18m (eighteen million naira) let alone signing a project worth N49m (forty nine million naira)”, Ozoemenam told the court.
The prosecution witness also denied having knowledge of exhibit P28 – “a voucher for additional payment for water project”; exhibit P30 –“a project valued N41million”; exhibit P36- “a project valued N20million”; exhibit P16- “a project worth N30million; exhibit P143- “a forged receipt and exhibit P113 – a project N20m.
“All these documents are forged, my lord”, Ozoemenam said.
The case has been adjourned to Thursday, January 29, 2015 for continuation of hearing.