$40m contract: EFCC Exonerates GEJ’s Cousin from Receiving N650m for Safe House


By Senator Iroegbu in Abuja

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has exonerated the cousin to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Mr. Azibaola Robert, and his wife, Stella, of collecting any money paid for a ‘safe house’ by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) headed by the former National Security Adviser (NSA) Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd).

At the resumed trial yesterday,  the 10th prosecution witness, David Mkpe, an EFCC operative, told the trial judge, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court Abuja, that Robert, his wife and company, Oneplus Holdings did not collect any money for the ‘safe house’.

“The petition we received from the Presidential Investigative Committee on Arms Procurement (PICAP) was to specifically investigate the N650m paid into the account of Tunji Adeniyi & Co by ONSA,” Mkpe told the trial judge, Justice Dimgba, under cross-examination by the Defence Counsel Chris Uche, SAN.

“We investigated the complaint (from PICAP) and found out that no farthing of the N650 million paid for the safe house was found in any of the accounts of the defendants (Robert, his wife Stella, and Oneplus Holdings Limited). Tunji Adeniyi had testified before this court that he had refunded the said N650 million to the ONSA and also wrote and made statement before the EFCC confirming the refund.”

Mkpe told the court that Alhaji Numan Danbatta was the owner of property Plot Number 2245 in Maitama for which the sum of N650 million was paid by the ONSA into the account of Tunji Adeniyi & Co.

“I did not take statement from Alhaji Danbatta, and I have never sighted any statement given by him in the course of our investigation.”

Also, Mkpe told the court that “All the five members of the EFCC Special Task Force Team 2 which investigated the complaint of the Presidential committee were non-conventional police officers, except one, CSP Ibrahim Musa, and said that the team was disbanded immediately after they concluded their investigation.

Mkpe had earlier in the day’s proceedings also told the Justice Dimgba that he was aware that a member of the Presidential committee which sent the complaint to the EFCC to investigate,  had been arrested, detained and being investigated by the Department of State Security (DSS) for alleged fraud.

Exhibits were tendered and admitted before the court as Exhibit ASO23, and the trial judge told the prosecution to make available the original copy of the exhibits to the defence on or before the adjourned date.

Azibaola Robert, wife, Stella and his firm, Oneplus, are standing trial for allegedly receiving the sum of $40 million from the Office of the National Security Adviser for the supply of security communication kits but which was laundered.

However, all the prosecution witnesses except the EFCC operative, Mkpe, who claimed to have investigated the suspects, have denied transacting any business or knowing them before they met in court.

The trial has been adjourned to 18th and 20th of October 2017.