The trial of a former governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako, continued on Tuesday, July 3, 2018, before Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja, continued on Tuesday, July 3, 2018 with the prosecution presenting Adekunle Odofin as the twentieth prosecution witness.
Nyako is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, alongside his son, Senator Abdul-Aziz Nyako, Abubakar Aliyu and Zulkifikk Abba on a 37-count charge of criminal conspiracy, stealing, abuse of office and money laundering to the tune of N29billion.
Five companies that allegedly served as conduit pipes for the illegal diversion of the funds – Blue Opal Limited, Sebore Farms & Extension Limited, Pagoda Fortunes Limited, Tower Assets Management Limited and Crust Energy Limited, were equally charged before the court as the 5th to 9th defendants.
Odofin, a detective with the EFCC, while being led in evidence by the counsel to EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, told the court all he knew about the case.
“I know all the defendants. I know Murtala H. Nyako. He was the Executive Governor of Adamawa State between 2007 to 2014 and he is the Chairman CEO of Sabore Farms. The second defendant’s name is Abdul-Aziz Nyako. He is a director of a company called Blue Ribbon Multi-Link and also a co-owner of Blue Opal Limited.
“The Blue Opal Limited is owned by two companies. One is Blue Ribbon Multi-Links Limited and the other is a company called Opal Synergy owned by one Neigi Oforie Jombo.
“The third defendant’s name is Zulkifikk Abba. He is a director in Crust Energy Limited. He is also a share holder in a company called Mainstream Energy. He is also a share holder in a company called Sentinen Exploration and Production Limited.
“I know the fourth defendant too. His name is Abubakar Aliyu. He is a director in Tower Asset Management Limited. He is also a signatory to the company’s account. He is also a share holder in Blue Ribbon Multi-lInks limited.
“I equally know Paguda Fortune Limited, that is the seventh defendant. It is a company owned by Mahmud Nyako”, Ododfin stated.
When asked to tell the court the relationship between the first and second defendant and the witness said “It is a father-son relationship”. The witness also said Mahmud Nyako was the son of Murtala Nyako.
When asked to tell the court how the case started the witness said, “Sometime in September 2011, the Commission received a petition dated October 10, 2011, written and signed by one Alhaji Sahid Umar. The petition was received and assigned to Economic Governance for discreet investigation”.
The petition was tendered and admitted in evidence as ‘Exhibit L20-1 to L20-14’.
The PW20 further told the court that when the petition was received, the petitioner alleged amongst other things that the first defendant, while he was the governor of Adamawa, siphoned the state’s funds, through his children with a program called ‘Special Project Program Unit, SPPU’.
“My team met and deliberated on the petition and the appropriate strategy to use and investigate the case. We arrived at letters of investigation activities to relevant agencies, which we did.
“Letters of investigation activities were written to banks including Zenith in respect of Sabore Farms and Extension limited, Blue Opal Limited, Crust Energy Limited, Blue Ribbon Multi-Links, Tower Asset Management Limited, Pagoda Fortune Limited, Pagoda Petroleum Limied, Amdak Investment Limited, Kir-Kelly Investment Limited and over 200 accounts of Adamawa State government, domiciled in Zenith bank”, the witness said.
He further told the court how various letters were sent to Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC.
Response letters from CAC were shown to the witness and he identified them. They were tendered and admitted as follows:
Letter dated August 21, 2014, issued by CAC, addressed to EFCC, captioned ‘Re-Investigation Activities’ of the following companies; Inverness Wealth Management Limited, Pincola Engineering Services Limited, Pagoda Fortune Limited, Pagoda Petroleum Limited, Farms Equipment and Machinery limited, Wealth Global Resources Management Limited – ‘Exhibit L21-1 to L21-29’.
Letter dated August 22, 2014, issued by CAC, addressed to EFCC, captioned ‘Re-Investigation Activities’ of Tower Asset Management Limited – ‘Exhibit L22-1 to L22-6’.
Letter dated August 26, 2014, issued by CAC, addressed to EFCC, captioned ‘Re-Investigation Activities’ of the following companies; Park Point Limited, Amdak Investment Limited, Kir-Kelly Investment Limited, Alamac Nigeria Limited, Zaiyun Farms developers Limited, Master-Link Global Associate Limited, – ‘Exhibit L23-1 to L23-30’.
Letter dated April4, 2013, issued by CAC, addressed to EFCC, captioned ‘Re-Investigation Activities’ of Sebore Expert farm Limited – ‘Exhibit L24-1 to L24-5’.
Letter dated December 18, 2014, issued by CAC, addressed to EFCC, captioned ‘Re-Investigation Activities’ of Sentinen Exploration Production Limited and Apple One Integrated Resources Limited – ‘Exhibit L25.
Letter dated August 26, 2014, issued by CAC, addressed to EFCC, captioned ‘Re-Investigation Activities’ of the following companies; Amdak Investment Limited, Lotus Capital Teleco Limited, Ruselle Farms Limited, Kir-Kelly Investment Limited, Alshalem International Co Limited – ‘Exhibit L26’.
Letter dated July 16, 2014, issued by CAC, addressed to EFCC, captioned ‘Re-Investigation Activities’ of the following companies; Crust Energy Limited and Blue Opal Limited – ‘Exhibit L27-1 to L27-14’.
The matter was thereafter adjourned to July 4, 2018 for continuation of trial.
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