Alex Enumah in Abuja
Augustine Ugorji, the fifth prosecution witness (PW5) in the trial of former Minister of Interior, Abba Moro and three others thursday gave a detail breakdown of how the sum of N675,675m received on behalf of Drexel Nigeria Ltd was distributed.
Drexel Nigeria Ltd is the 4th defendant in the online recruitment exercise into Nigeria Immigration Service which unfortunately resulted in the death of a number of persons in 2014.
The other defendants are Anesthesia Nwobia, an ex-Permanent Secretary in the Ministry and a Deputy Director in the Ministry, F.O. Alayabami.
The amount is said to be the aggregate of N1000 paid by each applicant to Drexel ahead of the recruitment.
At the resumed trial wednesday, Ugorji, led in evidence by prosecution counsel, Aliyu Yusuf, said a total of 675,675 applicants completed their application by making the payment of one thousand naira each through a platform created by his company, Pay-for-Me Services Nigeria Ltd.
Ugorji was Head of Finance, (2010-2016) Pay-For-Me Services Nigeria Ltd, an e-commerce company licenced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to provide a platform through which e-commerce can be transacted.
Ugorji told the court that Drexel was contracted by the interior ministry, and the company in turn had to sublet the contract of the NIS online recruitment to Pay-For-Me Services Nigeria Ltd.
“The process for PFM is that the applicant goes to the site opened by Drexel for Interior, fills the form.
“Once the applicant clicks on ‘pay’, it will direct the applicant to PFM site, where there is an option to pay cash or through card.
According to him of the N1,000 received from each applicant the sum of N850 goes to Drexel while the remaining N150 goes to PFM.
Ugorji further revealed that out of the N150, PFM receives N70 however goes to banks involved in the transaction.
He added that PFM in line with their own agreement also pays the NIBSS from its own N80.
According to him, of the N675, 675 paid by applicants through PFM, the sum of N574,327,500 was remitted to Drexel through Keystone bank in two tranches.
The names of banks and amount remitted by each of the banks according to the witness are Zenith Bank, N22,425,390; Sterling Bank N38,013,420; United Bank for Africa N190,187,416; Diamond Bank N114,616,260; Union Bank N133,862,010; Fidelity N58,175,670; Enterprise bank N12,527,100 and Ecobank N48,456,870.
The prosecution witness added that the sum of N10,879,150 was remitted through card payments.
However, upon cross examination by Paul Erokoro, counsel to the 1st defendant, the witness said the PFM never transferred any money to Ministry of Interior.
He also said he cannot remember if PFM confirmed the existence of any contractual agreement between the Ministry of Interior on behalf of the federal government with Drexel Technical Nigeria Ltd, adding that he never cited any such document if it does exist.
Similarly, the sixth prosecution witness (PW6), Mrs. Bilkisu Mohammed, a relationship officer with Keystone Bank told the court during cross examination by the defence team, that Drexel Tech did not transfer money to any of the defendants.
The matter was adjourned to November 7 and 8, 2017 for continuation of trial.