Orji Kalu’s Salary For 4 Years Was N22.3M –Witness
… Insists Not Contract Between Abia Govt. And Slok Nig Ltd
The Accountant General of Abia State, Gabriel Chinenye Onyendilefu, yesterday concluded his testimony at the on-going trial of former governor of the state, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu and two others before Justice Mohammed Idris of a Federal High Court over alleged fraud.
At the resumed hearing of the matter on Tuesday, the court admitted two documents that were earlier tendered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as exhibits.
The two documents; the Financial Regulations of Abia state and extract of salaries paid to Dr. Kalu while at the helm of affairs in the state, were tendered by the EFCC’s lawyer, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) through the witness.
Responding to a question from the EFCC’s lawyer, Onyendilefu said he got the figures for the salaries of the former governor from the payroll unit of Government House.
He added that the total salary paid to the former governor between 1999 and 2007 amounted to N22, 312, 272.
However, upon his cross-examination by lawyer to the 2nd defendant, Chief Solo Akuma (SAN), the witness revealed that the salary extract was not signed by anyone at the payroll unit.
He also disclosed that the 2nd defendant (Udeh Jones Udeogu) never informed him that he paid any money from Government House Accounts to Slok Nigeria Ltd.
The witness also faulted insinuations that he was retained in the civil service to testify against the defendants.
“I was not retained in service in order to testify against the defendants. The reason for the extension was specified in my letter”, he said.
Further hearing in the matter has been adjourned to March 5.
Onyendilefu had in his testimony before the court on Monday revealed that no contract was awarded to Slok Nigeria Limited by the state government while former Governor Orji Uzor Kalu was at the helm of affairs.
While responding to a question from the EFCC’s lawyer, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), on the issue of award of contract to the company, the witness disclosed that there was no record of any award of contract to Slok Nigeria Limited by Abia state government between 1999 and 2007.
According to him, “Though I was not in charge then, but the search conducted revealed that no contract was awarded to Slok Nigeria Limited and no payment was also made to the company between 1999 and 2007”.