A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Tuesday heard former Governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu allegedly used the state funds to purchase second hand clothes popularly known as Okrika
This was revealed by an Investigator with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. John Ejim, who on Tuesday, tendered several bank documents used by Slok Nigeria Limited, a company belonging to Kalu, before the court.
Kalu, his Commissioner of finance, Udeh Jones Udeogu, and Slok Nigeria Limited, are standing trial before the court, on 34 counts charge bordering over alleged N3.2 billion fraud, brought againat them by the EFCC.
At the resumed trial of the defendants on Tuesday, the witness who was led-in-evidence by the prosecutor, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs, also told the court how the second defendant, Jones Udeogu, told the commission during interrogation that the first defendant, Kalu, used government money to purchase ‘Okirika’, fairly used clothes.
The witness also told the court how a petition written by an Abia group, ‘Abia Leader Forum’ was assigned to his team for investigation.
“Sometimes in September 2005, a petition dated September 7, 2005, written by Abia Leader Forum, was forwarded to the EFCC. The petition was assigned to my team which was led by Mrs. Funke Adetayo for investigation.
“Prior to the petition, EFCC was already building intelligence on some state governors. It was on this basis that my team was asked to handle issue of Abia state”.
The EFCC investigator further told the court how his commission wrote letters to some banks that were identified by its intelligence information.
Some of these banks he said includes:Hallmark bank, Standard Trust Bank (now UBA) Citizen bank (now Spring Bank), Inland Bank (now FCMB) and some others.
Ajim further told the court that a search was also conducted with a duly signed search warrant at the Slok Nigeria Limited offices in Victoria Island and Apapa, Lagos, where several documents were recovered.
He also told the court that some principal officers of Abia State Government House, who includes: the Chief of Staff to Kalu, Thoedore Orji, who later became the Governor of the state, and now a Senator, the Director of Finance, Udeh Jones Udeogu, who is the second accused person in the case, two cashiers of the Government House, Romanus Madu and Michael Akpan Udoh, were invited for interrogation.
The prosecution witness who is the sixth to be called in the case, further told the court that in the course of the investigation his team discovered cheques raised on Abia State Government account in the name of serving officers. He added that the said cheques are used to buy drafts from the Inland bank in the name of Slok Nigeria Limited and pay same into the company’s account with the bank.
The matter has been adjourned till Wednesday, for continuation of trial.
Kalu alongside his former aide, Udeh Udeogu, and his company, Slok Nigeria Limited, are being tried by the EFCC before the court on an amended 34 count-charge of alleged N3.2 billion fraud.