$40m Contract: EFCC’s Trial of Jonathan’s Cousin Adjourned to July 17

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By Senator Iroegbu in Abuja
 

The trial of former President Goodluck Jonathan’s cousin, Azibaola Robert, wife, Stella and company, Oneplus, has been adjourned to July 7, 2017 for continuation of trial and cross examination. 

The 10th prosecution witness, David Nkpe was led in evidence by Mr. Sylvanus Tahir after which the Defence could not go ahead with the cross examination as Tahir had stood down another case before Justice Okon Abang and had to leave to attend to the case. 

Though the defence counsel was ready to proceed with the cross examination, Tahir again pleaded with Justice Dingbat, just as he did on Wednesday, to grant him permission to ‘attend to another matter’ in another court. 

“My Lord, I am in a difficult situation again just as I was on Wednesday and I need your authorization to leave this matter and attend to another one in another court,” Tahir pleaded with the judge. 

But trouble had started for the prosecution when it tried to introduce some documents which were not listed in the proof of evidence and served on the defendants as required by the court, the defendants objected to the move. 

The development forced the judge to stand down the matter for one hour to enable the prosecution to furnish the defendants with the ‘fresh evidence’.

Upon resumption, the EFCC counsel suddenly rose up and asked the judge for permission to attend to another matter in a different court. 

The EFCC operative, who was the tenth witness called by the prosecution, is the only one who claimed to have investigated Robert and his company, Oneplus and discovered that the $40 million paid to them by the ONSA was for a ‘Safe House’ but could not explain to the judge what a safe house is.

 

Based on the inability of the witness to explain what a safe house is, the defendants objected to the attempt to shop for an explanation and the judge upheld the objection.

 

“The mandate instruction shows that the payment was for a Safe House Project. But I did not confirm the property to be Safe House,” Nkpe said.”

 

He went on: “We investigated the utilization of the funds and discovered that the funds were transferred to other companies including Bureau de Change and some of the funds transferred offshore to countries like London and United Arab Emirates”.

 

He added that, “Another sum of $1.493million was transferred to ‘Kaka tar El Ltd’ which is also a company under One Plus Holdings; a sum of $2million was transferred to ‘Capitafield Investment Ltd’ and another $330,000 transferred to a company called ‘Teledom’.”

 

But on Wednesday, when he appeared as a witness to EFCC, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, who runs Teledom International Limited, denied transacting any business with or knowing Robert, his wife or his company.