How N6 billion security funds were diverted, by EFCC witness
• Suswam, aides arraigned, get N750m bail
A witness for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nkem Ahidjo, yesterday told the Federal High Court, Lagos that over N6 billion of the allocation to the military Joint Task Force, Operation Pulo Shield, in the Niger Delta by the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan was diverted.
He said the funds were kept in the accounts of four companies on the order of Maj.-Gen. Emmanuel Atewe (rtd) who was then the commander of the operation.The businessman, who said all the accounts belong to him, listed them as Jagan Trading Company Ltd., Jagan Global Services Ltd., Al-Nald Ltd. and Paper Warehouse Limited.
While being led in evidence by the EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, Ahidjo, who was presented with the statements of account of the four companies, traced the various sums moved from the account of Operation Pulo Shield into them.
Asked by the prosecutor if any of his companies was a registered security organisation to have warranted the transfers, Ahidjo answered in the negative.Atewe is being tried before Justice Ayotunde Faji for an alleged fraud of N8.5 billion alongside a former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Patrick Akpobolokemi; Kime Engozu and Josephine Otuaga.
Also yesterday, former Benue State governor, Gabriel Suswam, his Commissioner for Finance, Omadachi Oklobia and the then Accountant, Benue State Government House Administration, Mrs. Janet Aluga, were arraigned and granted bail in the sum of N250 million each by the Federal High Court, Abuja
They were to produce a surety each, who must either be a director in the federal cvil service or state agency and not below Grade Level 12.Justice Gabriel Kolawole, who admitted them to bail, however ruled that in case they are unable to secure a suitable surety, a holder of national honour would suffice.
The trio, who were remanded in Kuje Prison until the bail conditions are perfected, are standing trial for a 32-count charge bordering on alleged diversion of N9.7 billion.The case was adjourned till October 10, 17, 19 and 20 for trial.