N2bn Fraud: How Eteta Ita looted FIRS’ funds to service her private school ― Witness


A Federal high court sitting in Abuja on Monday heard how the Head of Stakeholders Unit of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Emmanuella Eteta Ita, allegedly diverted large sums of money meant for Stakeholders’ assignments to her private school, Surestart School Limited while serving as the Head of Stakeholders Unit of FIRS.

A star prosecution witness in the matter, Ijeoma Matilda, made the revelation during cross-examination by defence counsel, Paul Erokoro, on March 18, 2024.

The witness said Ita undertook some Stakeholders’ assignments and the funds meant for the projects were traced into her account with the payment narration.

She said investigations showed that the same funds were sent directly into the account of Surestart School Limited which is the second defendant in this case.

Maltida said: “When she came to our office, we took her statement, we were cordial with her, and she was treated very well with utmost respect.

“While she was with us for reconciliation, she started bringing documents, and she also opted to pay back for some reconciliation she could not account for.

“She said in her statement that she will pay back the money, I don’t know where she got the money from, and so far, she has refunded about N17 million, though she told us that she benefited about N5 million from the programme.

“I don’t know the standard practice of sourcing for funds before asking for reimbursement, and it is not within the scope of our investigation.

“All I know is that she undertook some of the stakeholders’ events, and we saw that those monies that came from FIRS went directly into the account of the second defendant, and the description was that the assignment was not done.”

She said the vendors that were supposed to do the events have given their evidence in court and testified that the receipts didn’t come from them.

She further claimed that those receipts were given to her by one Daniel, who was a staff of FIRS.

Testifying further, she said: “We were told he was late and we demanded the death certificate which was given to us. We requested his account details and we discovered he was also a beneficiary.

“We wrote to FIRS, UBA, System Spec, and invited everyone involved in this matter and everything we have here are as a result of our investigations.”

After the cross-examination, the presiding judge, Justice Giwa Ogunbanjo, adjourned the matter till March 20 and 21, 2024, for the continuation of the cross-examination

Share your story or advertise with us: Whatsapp: +2348179614306 Email: barandbenchwatch@gmail.com


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here