Friday, 18 May 2018

Witness Tells Court How Ex Plateau State Born Minister Ochekpe & Co Collected N450m

Mrs Annette Gyen, today, told Justice Musa Kurna of Federal high Court Jos how Serah Ochekpe, the immediate past minister of Water Resources, Raymond Dabo, Former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) Plateau State Chapter and one Leo Sunday Jitong collected the sum of Four Hundred and Fifty Million Naira (N450m) at Fidelity Bank, Jos branch in 2015.

Gyen,  a senior staff in Fidelity Bank is a principal witness in a case filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against the trio on a matter bordering on money laundering of the said N450m Contrary to Section 18(a), Section 16(1), (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2012 and Punishable under section 16(2) of the same Act.

The witness told the court under cross examination by counsels to the Defendants, Sunday Oyawole Esq and Gyang Zi Esq that while as head of operations Jos branch of the bank, she received instructions from the Divisional Head of the Bank, Mathew Ezuogbe sometime in March 2015 that certain beneficiaries be paid in the Jos branch of the bank and she promptly complied by withdrawing the sum of N450m from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and effected the payment to the beneficiaries.

According to her, the process for the release of the funds was in line with best practices and the receipt of the payment of the said amount was acknowledged by the three accused persons who also signed and write down their addresses, cell phone numbers and presented various forms of identifications which included the Nigeria voter’s card.

The witness further told the court that Fidelity Bank is a reputable commercial bank and a financial institution and that all she did with regards to the payment of the sum of N450million to the accused persons was done in her official capacity.

The matter was adjourned till tomorrow for continuation of hearing.

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