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20 Oct 2017

How N1.4bn was spent on prayer under Jonathan – Witness

An Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) witness, Michael Adariku on Thursday told an Abuja High Court how N1.4 billion security vote from the office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) was diverted.

Adariku, an officer of EFCC, made the revelation when he testified in the trial of Sambo Dasuki, a former National Security Adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Dasuki is standing trial on a 19-count charge bordering on alleged diversion of N13.6 billion since 2015.

Others on trial are Shuaibu Salisu, a former Director of Finance, Office of the National Security Adviser, and Aminu Baba-Kusa, a former NNPC Executive Director, and two others.

Adariku, the first prosecution witness said that the diversion was made through a company owned by a former Director, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Aminu Baba-Kusa.

The company, Acacia Holdings Ltd., was credited with the sum from the accounts of ONSA purportedly for a national prayer to be organised for Nigeria.

The witness, led in evidence by EFCC’s counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), narrated how N650 million was transferred from ONSA’s Zenith Bank account to Acacia Holdings account with Ecobank for the purpose of the said prayer.

He, however, said that from the response of Ecobank, N650 million was transferred to various individuals and companies contrary to the purpose it was disbursed for.

Adariku further revealed that on April 20, 2015, N150 million was transferred to the account of Baba-Kusa, and that on April 22, another N70 million was transferred to one Jubril Abdullahi for purposes not stated.

He said that on April 22, an account to account transfer of N50 million was forwarded to the account of Baba-Kusa between May 4 and May 6, 2015.

The witness said that another transfer of N150 million was made to a company, Medical Plastics Ltd. found to be owned by Baba-Kusa and his wife, Hauwa, who own 1.8 million shares in the company.

He added that another N600 million was transferred from ONSA’s account to Acacia on April 17, 2015.

Counsel to Acacia Holdings, Dr Biodun Layonu (SAN) raised an objection to the witness’ testimony on the ground that the documents relating to the transactions were not clear in the copies that the prosecution served them.

The judge, Justice Husseini Baba-Yusuf, acknowledged the observation by the defence counsel for Acacia and directed that the prosecution should make clearer copies available to the defendants before the next adjourned date.

He then adjourned the trial until December 13 and December 14 for continuation of trial.

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