$40m contract: Witness’ testimony offers GEJ’s cousin relief

Respite came yesterday for Azibaola Robert, cousin to ex President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife Stella, at the Federal High Court Abuja, as testimony of a witness of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) further exonerated him of collecting any money paid for a ‘safe house’ by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) headed by former National Security Adviser (NSA) Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd).

When trial resumed on Friday, the 10th prosecution witness, David Mkpe, an EFCC operative, told the trial judge, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court Abuja, that Robert, his wife and company, Oneplus Holdings, did not collect any money for the ‘safe house.’

According to him, “The petition we received from the Presidential Investigative Committee on Arms Procurement (PICAP) was to specifically investigate the N650m paid into the account of Tunji Adeniyi & Co by ONSA,” Mkpe said under cross-examination by the Defence Counsel Chris Uche, SAN.

 “We investigated the complaint (from PICAP) and found out that no part of the N650 million paid for the safe house was found in any of the accounts of the defendants (Robert, his wife Stella, and Oneplus Holdings Limited)”

“Tunji Adeniyi had earlier testified before this court that he had refunded the said N650 million to the ONSA and also wrote and made statement before the EFCC confirming the refund.”

Mkpe told the court that Alhaji Numan Danbatta is the owner of property located at Plot 2245 in Maitama, Abuja for which the sum of N650 million was paid by the ONSA into the account of Tunji Adeniyi & Co.

“I did not take statement from Alhaji Danbatta, and I have never sighted any statement given by him in the course of our investigation.”

He also informed the court that “All the five members of the EFCC Special Task Force Team 2 which investigated the complaint of the Presidential committee were non-conventional police officers, except one, CSP Ibrahim Musa, adding, that the team was disbanded immediately they concluded their investigation.

Mkpe had earlier during proceedings informed the court that he was aware that a member of the Presidential committee which sent the complaint to the EFCC to investigate, had been arrested, detained and is being investigated by the Department of State Services (DSS) for alleged fraud.

Exhibit ASO23 was tendered and admitted before the court and Justice Igwe directed the prosecution to make available the original copy of the exhibits to the defence on or before the adjourned date.

Robert, his wife and his firm, Oneplus, are standing trial for allegedly receiving the sum of $40 million from the Office of the National Security Adviser for the supply of security communication kits but which was laundered.

So far, all the prosecution witnesses except the EFCC operative, Mkpe, who claimed to have investigated the suspects, have denied transacting any business or knowing them before they met in court.

Continuation of trial was adjourned to October 18 and 20, this year.