A star prosecution witness of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Hassan Seidu, on Wednesday, told a Federal high court sitting in Abuja how a former aide, Nicholas Azinze to ex-National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki and others got N5.6billion from the Office of the NSA.
Seidu testified Wednesday as the first prosecution witness in the trial of Azinze.
He said he was part of the team that conducted search in Ashinze’s house, located at No. 67 Vision Court Estate, Apo, Abuja.
Ashinze, a retired army colonel, is standing trial alongside an Austrian, Wolfgang Reinl; Edidiong Idiong and Sagir Mohammed, on a 13-count charge of corruption and money laundering to the tune of N36.8billion.
Other defendants in the case are five companies-Geonel Integrated Services Limited, Unity Continental Nigeria Limited, Helpline Organisation, Vibrant Resource Limited and Sologic Integrated Service Limited.”
The prosecution witness, Seidu, said on December 23, 2015, Ashinze was brought to their office for interview and after the interview, he was asked if he would be able to respond to allegations of money laundering leveled against him.
Seidu said: “After accepting, Ashinze’s statement was recorded, but it was his colleague, Mohammed Goje, who administered the cautionary word to him where he signed and voluntarily wrote his statement.”
He further said a search was conducted at his (Ashinze) house at Apo where some items were recovered.
The admissibility of the search warrant which Ofem Uket, counsel to EFCC, sought to tender as evidence was objected to by Ashinze’s counsel, L. S. Nwoye, who argued that it had no date.
Nwoye cited Section 147 of Administrative of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA, which stated that a document must have date on it for identification.
Justice Kolawale, in a bench ruling, held that the issues raised were omissions of details. He overruled the objection and admitted the search warrant in evidence as Exhibit two.
He also admitted items recovered which are one black diary, one blue notebook and one page of unsigned document, written in red ink dated April 17, 2014, in evidence as Exhibits 2a, b and c respectively.
Seidu also said the one page of unsigned document written in red ink (Exhibit 2c) contained list of five companies, their banks and account numbers of each of the company with amount that has been transferred to them.
He said they got analysis of it and found out that N3.125billion was transferred to the account of Geonel Integrated Services (fifth defendant) with Heritage Bank from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
He further stated that they found out that the document (Exhibit 2c) was prepared three days after N3.125billion was given value in the account of Geonel Integrated Service Limited.
According to the PW1, they also found out that N2.5billion was transferred from CBN to Geonel’s account on February 16, 2015, and the contract was awarded from ONSA to Geonel Integrated Services.
He stated that the N3.125 billion was for a purported contract given to Geonel as mobilisation fee in securing 22 dams in Nigeria and the N2.5billion was for full and final payment of the purported contract.
When asked by the prosecution the relationship of the defendants to the companies, Seidu said Unity Bank Nigeria Limited was owned by Sagir Mohammed (4th defendant) who is a course mate and friend to Dasuki.
Justice Kolawole further adjourned the matter to March 21, 2017, for ruling on the objection raised by the defence counsel.