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EFCC presents first witness in alleged N1.3bn fraud case against ex-NSITF boss, Olejeme

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Ngozi Olejeme

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday presented its first witness before Justice Maryam Hassan Aliyu of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Jabi Abuja in the trial of the former Chairman of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) Dr Ngozi Olejeme.

The development was disclosed in a statement by EFCC’s Head of Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, made available to Ripples Nigeria.

Ripples Nigeria reported that Olejeme, who was first arraigned on October 21, 2021, is facing a nine-count charge bordering on criminal conspiracy, abuse of office, diversion of public funds and money laundering to the tune of over N1 billion.

According to the statement, at the resumed hearing on Monday, the prosecuting counsel, Sir. Steve Odiase presented the first prosecuting witness Salihu Dantsoho Sadiq who is a Bureau de Change operator.

The witness narrated how he met Henry Sambo, an employee of the NSITF who is on the charge.

Sadiq told the court that sometime in 2014 at First Bank, Abuja, Sambo approached him and requested a foreign exchange.

“He transferred the money into my account the same day the transaction started and the transaction involved hundreds of millions in about eight to ten tranches. He did not know my office, but he normally sent his driver for the transaction,” he stated.

Under cross-examination, the defence counsel, Paul Erokoro SAN, asked the witness if he knew the defendant, and what the Dollars were requested for but Sadiq said no, adding that Sambo did not tell him the purpose.

Read also: Court fines EFCC N5m for illegally declaring man wanted

Erokoro also asked whether the transaction followed CBN guidelines for forex, warning that if it did not, he would report the transaction to authorities. The witness answered in the affirmative.

Earlier, the prosecuting counsel, Odiase told the court that the prosecution had pre-trial with six witnesses who were expected in court to testify but could not make it because of the fire incident at Kubwa, which involved some of their relatives, noting that only one of them made it to court.

He, therefore, requested the court for a short adjournment to enable the prosecution to present the other witnesses.

Justice Aliyu adjourned the matter till November 29, 2021, for the continuation of the trial.

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