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N714.6M FRAUD TRIAL: Witness reveals trail of fund transfers in Turaki’s bank account

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The trial of former Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Kabiru Tanimu Turaki (SAN), continued on Wednesday, September 23, before Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, with the presentation of the second prosecution witness (PW2), Remigius Ugwu, a compliance officer with Zenith Bank.

The PW2, who was led in evidence by prosecution counsel, Farouk Abdallah, revealed how funds were moved from Turaki’s Zenith Bank account to different bank accounts.

Turaki is being prosecuted alongside his personal assistant, Sampson Okpetu, and two companies, Samtee Essentials Limited and Pasco Investment Limited.

According to Ugwu, on January 19, 2015, N359, 104,000.00, (three hundred and fifty-nine million, one hundred and four thousand Naira) was transferred to the minister’s account, revealing that before the transfer, the balance in the account was N2, 614.38 (two thousand, six hundred and fourteen Naira, thirty-eight Kobo).

He further disclosed that on January 22, 2015, there was another transfer of N45 million from one Abdullahi Bagudu’s account. N50 million, he said, was also moved from the account to that of Titus Okunriboye on January 27, 2015, while SAMTEE Essentials Limited got N20 million.

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According to the witness, between 2018 and 2019, Zenith Bank received a letter from EFCC, requesting to be furnished with Turaki’s account details, including the account opening package, statement of account and bank instruments of eight customers, which the bank obliged the EFCC.

Abdallah presented the documents as exhibits, which were admitted in evidence by the court.

Upon cross-examination by defence counsel, Joe Kyari Gadzama (SAN), the witness told the court that he was not aware Turaki had any other bank account, apart from the one he tendered before the court.

The matter was later adjourned till September 24, 2020, for continuation of trial.

The EFCC is prosecuting Turaki on 16-count charge, bordering on misappropriation of fund to the tune of N714, 670, 014.87 (seven hundred and fourteen million, six hundred and seventy thousand and fourteen Naira).

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