Umar Tahir, aide to former Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, has informed the Federal Excessive Courtroom in Abuja how an ex-Minister of Labour, Taminu Turaki, launched N200m out of N359m for a collection of city corridor conferences on safety throughout the nation in 2014.
Tahir, who was a Senior Particular Assistant on Islamic Affairs, made the allegation earlier than Justice Inyang Ekwo whereas testifying as the primary prosecution witness in Turaki’s trial on cash laundering costs involving about N854m.
The Financial and Monetary Crimes Fee had on Might four arraigned the previous minister alongside his former Particular Assistant, Sampson Okpetu, and two corporations; Samtee Necessities Restricted and Pasco Funding Restricted, on 16 counts of cash laundering costs.
The EFCC alleged that the defendants used the businesses to launder funds totaling about N845m stolen from the 2 ministries when the minister held sway beneath the then administration.
Nonetheless, Turaki and Okpetu pleaded not responsible to the costs.
Testifying on Tuesday, Tahir disclosed that as a result of scarcity within the funds launched, the programme that was deliberate to be organised in every of the 19 Northern states and 6 geo-political zones of the nation might solely be executed within the North-West zone, South-South zone, Abuja, Kaduna and Kano states, the Information Company of Nigeria reviews.
He informed the court docket how he was invited by the previous President on June 23, 2014, to debate the safety challenges posed by Boko Haram, faux speeches, amongst others within the nation.
The witness, who was led in proof by EFCC’s counsel, Mohammed Abubakar, stated a part of the recommendation he supplied Jonathan was to let his workplace organise “a sensitisation city corridor conferences throughout the 19 states and the six geo-political zones which the Vice President and prime members of the federal government would attend.”
He stated he raised a memo on June 30, 2014, wherein he enumerated how he deliberate the programme and indicated the necessity for funds to be launched to organise it.
“However as a Senior Particular Assistant to the President, I didn’t have ministerial accounts.
“So, I used to be requested to liaise with the Minister of Particular Duties in order that the cash could be despatched to him and he would then ship it to me.
“The President in his minute on my memo gave his approval via the Vice President and my workplace.
“Due to this fact, on July 7, 2014, the approval was conveyed to my workplace and that of the Vice President,” he narrated.
Tahir stated he subsequently held conferences with Turaki after, which he despatched a price range of N359m for the programme to the minister on September 2, 2014.
“In January 2015, the President granted the approval that the Minister of Finance ought to launch N359m for the programme,” he stated.
The witness nevertheless, alleged that out of the N359m authorized by the President, solely N200m was launched to him.
Based on him, of the N200m, the sum of N150m was paid to me in three tranches of N50m every in January 2015 through an account he submitted to the minister.
He stated he collected the steadiness of N50m in money from the ex-minister’s aide.
He stated it was when he was invited by the EFCC to shed mild into the transactions that he was informed that the full sum of N359m was launched to the minister.
“I gave EFCC copies of the cheques I issued for the disbursement of the cash launched to me.
“I stated it was solely N200m that was launched to me. They stated the entire N359m was launched to the minister however he solely gave me N200m,” he added.
Justice Ekwo then adjourned till September 21 for the cross-examination of the witness.
Earlier within the proceedings, Justice Ekwo ordered the EFCC to supply its investigation reviews in respect of the case and the statements of 4 of its proposed witnesses and have them served on the second defendant.
The decide gave the order following an utility by the second defendant’s lawyer, A.Ok Ajibade, SAN.
Abubakar didn’t oppose the applying.