N557.9m was Paid into Ehindero's Account, Witness Tells Court

29 Jan 2013

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Sunday Ehindero

An investigation  officer with the Independence Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), Mr Olayinka Adebayo, Monday told an Abuja High Court that the sum of N557.9 million was  paid into the Oceanic Bank account of the  former Inspector General of Police (IG), Sunday Ehindero, in 2006.

Ehindero, pleaded not guilty to a six-count criminal charge that  was preferred against him by the ICPC.

He was docked alongside a former Commissioner of Police in charge  of Budget, Mr. John Obaniyi.

Specifically, the anti-graft agency maintained that its  investigations revealed that the accused persons, diverted the  sum which was donated to the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) by the  Bayelsa State Government.

The ICPC said that the money was donated for the  procurement of arms, ammunition and riot control equipment.

Testifying before Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi, Adebayo, who lead  an investigating team, said that the money was paid by a former  IG, Mr Hafiz Ringim, who was then Commissioner of Police in Bayesa.

He equally alleged that the accused persons placed N200 million out of  the amount in a fixed deposit account at the Intercontinental  Bank Plc, where it had generated an interest of N16.5 million.

“We invited Ringim and got facts from him during our investigation.
“Ringim also showed us copies of the vouchers raised for the  said amount,'' he said.
Adebayo said further that during the cause of investigation,  the team visited Bayelsa, to get evidence of when the money was  approved.

“We were referred to the office of the Bayelsa State Accountant General
where we got a voucher for the N557.9 million.
“We also found out that the money was paid to the first accused
person,'' he said.

He further testified that the team also discovered from the Abuja Branch of First Bank Plc that the second accused (Obaniyi) signed and collected  the money in favour of Ehindero.
Testifying against Obaniyi, the ICPC officer, said that the team  summoned him through the office of the IG.

Oniyangi, adjourned the case to Feb. 22, for continuation of trial within trial.
Oniyangi had ordered a trial-within- trial, after Obaniyi said that  the statement the ICPC wanted to tender in court as exhibit  was not voluntary.
The judge said that the trial within trial would be held to  determine the admissibility of the disputed evidence.
Obaniyi had claimed that the statements taken in 2007 and 2008  admitting to collecting the money and paying same, were done under duress.

Tags: News, Nigeria, Featured, N557.9m, Ehindero's Account, Witness, Court

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