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16 Aug

N29bn Fraud: Court Admits More Evidence Against Nyako

Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja on July 3, 2017, admitted in evidence documents tendered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, against a former governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako, who is standing trial on a 37-count charge of conspiracy, stealing, abuse of office and money laundering to the tune of N29billion.

One of the documents which were tendered through the twelfth prosecution witness, Caroline Utsaha, showed that a total of N80million deposit was made in a day in the name of Blue Opal Limited; one of the companies allegedly used by the former governor to siphon the state funds.

The documents tendered and admitted in evidence include:
Letter dated July 21, 2014, captioned “Re-Investigation Activities”, with the account name – Blue Opal Limited – Exhibit H1.

Letter dated August 15, 2014, captioned “Re-Investigation Activities”, with the account name – Opal Corporate Limited – Exhibit H2.

Letter dated February 26, 2015, captioned “Re-Investigation Activities”, with the account name – Crust Energy Limited, and was admitted as Exhibit H3.

Utsaha, a relationship manager with the First Bank, while being led in evidence by counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, stated that:
“In 2014, the EFCC wrote our Bank, requesting for details of the accounts packages and statements of accounts of three accounts. The accounts were: Blue Opal Limited, Opal Corporate Limited and Crust Energy Limited.

“I got all they requested and did a forwarding letter to the Commission and also did an identification letter, indicating that the statements and all the documents are from First Bank”.

When asked to look at Exhibit H1 and tell the court about the transactions therein, the witness said, “The entries here are series of deposits of Zenith bank cheque”.

She went on: “On March 29, 2012, there were eight deposits of Zenith bank cheque of N10million each. The deposits were done on the same day”.

Thereafter, Justice Abang adjourned to July 4, 2017 for the continuation of hearing.

Nyako is being prosecuted alongside his son, Senator Abdul-Aziz Nyako, Abubakar Aliyu and Zulkifikk Abba.

Other companies that allegedly served as conduit pipes for the illegal diversion of the funds are – Pagoda Fortunes Limited, Tower Assets Management Limited and Crust Energy Limited.

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