A prosecution witness, Ade Babatunde, on Wednesday affirmed at a Federal High Court, Lagos, that the evidences he had given in the ongoing trial of Ibrahim Abdusalam, a former Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) for a N2.8 billion fraud are true.
The witness, Babatunde, a staff of Stanbic IBTC Bank, told the court that all the evidenced he had given so far in relation to the case “are accurate to the best of his knowledge.”
Abdulsalam is charged alongside other NAMA staff including a former General Manager (Procurement), Olumuyiwa Adegorite, and a former General Manager (Finance), Segun Agbolade.
Others are a former acting General Manager in charge of ICT, Bolaniran Akinribido, Sesebor Abiodun, and Joy Adegorite.
Also charged with them are two companies — Randville Investment Ltd, and Multeng Travels and Tours Ltd.
They are being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly conspiring to induce NAMA to deliver the sum of N2.8 billion to Delosa Ltd, Air Sea Delivery Ltd and Sea Schedules Systems Ltd.
Babatunde, who was cross-examined by the defence, informed the court that all the evidences he had given so far before the court on behalf of Stanbic IBTC were accurate.
The witness said that it would not be correct to say that he knew everything concerning the transactions carried out by the accused on their various accounts domiciled with the bank.
Babatunde also stated that there was no limit to the amount that could be withdrawn by a customer from a corporate account.
He said that all he had revealed before the court were on the basis of the documents generated by the bank in the course of the transactions when Abdulsalam held sway as the MD of NAMA.
The witness added: “I do not have any personal knowledge of the transactions carried out by the accused.
“I also do not have any problem with the operations of the accounts; it is equally not to my knowledge that the accounts were well funded because I am not the account officer.
“I disagree completely with the suggestion that my testimony before the court is incomplete.
“I did not also omit any transaction carried out by the third accused, Segun Agbolade.
“I only responded to the questions put to me by the lawyer to the anti-graft agency, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo.
“I am aware that the account of the third accused has been frozen because I responded to the request of the EFCC that the account should be seized.”
Justice Babs Kuewumi, however, adjourned further proceedings until June 6.
The EFCC had on April 7, 2016 arraigned the accused for fraud and they all pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The charge was subsequently amended to include three more accused, and all accused persons were re-arraigned on April 12, 2016.
They again pleaded not guilty to the charge and were admitted to bail in the sum of N20 million each with two sureties each in like sum.
The EFCC said the delivery was under the pretence that the money represented the cost of clearing NAMA’s consignments.
It also alleged that between Jan. 2 and Dec. 17, 2013, the accused allegedly converted N191 million belonging to NAMA to their private use.
They also converted N728 million between 2013 and 2015 as well as other sums, said the anti-graft agency.
The offences contravened the provisions of Sections Section 1 (3) and 8 (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006.