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EFCC closes case in ex-Gov Suswam’s trial for alleged N3.1bn fraud



The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday closed its case in the alleged corruption trial of former Benue State Governor, Gabriel Suswam, at the Federal High Court, Abuja.

The commission arraigned Suswam alongside the state’s former commissioner for finance, Omadachi Oklobia, on an amended 11-count charge of fraud.

The EFCC alleged that the duo diverted N3.1 billion belonging to the Benue State government during their time in office.

The money, according to the prosecution, formed part of the proceeds of the sale of shares owned by the Benue State government and its firm, Benue Investment and Property Company Limited in some companies.

The EFCC’s counsel, Oluwaleke Atolagbe, told Justice Ahmed Mohammed that he would be closing his case after the testimony of eight prosecution witness (PW8), Adewale Agunbiade.

.The witness, a Compliance Officer with Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB), told the court that Suswam operated a naira account and a dollar account with the bank.

He said over $200,000 was deposited in tranches in the bank’s dollar account between August 2014 and July 2015.

READ ALSO: Appeal Court sacks former gov, Suswam, as senator for Benue North

He added that the ex-governor on his own paid a total of $175,000 in cash into the account between February 18 and July 2, 2015, at the Garki Area 11 branch.

The prosecution tendered some documents through the witness, including statements of transactions in both accounts from January 2007 to December 31, 2015.

Reading from the statement of account, Agunbiade gave details of other transactions in the dollar account to include August 8, 2014, where he said that a cash deposit of $10,000 was made by one Ibrahim .A. at the bank’s branch in the Ikoyi area of Lagos.

He said: “On August 11, 2014, there was a cash deposit of $10,000 by Aremu at Garki, Area 3 branch; on September 29, 2014, a cash deposit of $10,000 was made by Ibrahim Sanni Magaji at Wapa, Kano branch.

“On October 29, 2014, a cash deposit of $10,000 paid by self was made at Garki, Area 11 branch in the FCT, on October 30, 2014, a cash deposit by self of $10,000 was made at Area 11 Garki branch.

“On November 3, 2014, a cash deposit of $10,000 by self was paid at Area 11, Garki branch, February 17, 2015, a cash deposit of $20,000 was made by self at Area 11, Garki branch.”

Justice Mohammed adjourned till January 9, 10, and 11, 2024 for the adoption of Oklobia’s written address in respect of his no-case submission and the possible opening of defence by Suswam.

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