Alleged N2.9B Fraud: FCMB, GTBank Testify In Orji Kalu’s Trial
A compliance officer with First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Olusegun Adesomoju, yesterday told Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court, Lagos that he had no idea about the purpose of cash lodgements into the Finbank account of Slok Nigeria Limited between March 2001 and September 2005.
He made the disclosure while testifying in the on-going trial of a former Abia State Governor, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu and two others over alleged fraud.
The witness had on Monday, in his examination-in-chief, while running through the firm’s statement of account which was admitted as exhibit by the court, read out series of cash lodgements into the account between the period. The lodgements were said to have been made through drafts.
However, while being cross-examined on the lodgments by Kalu’s lawyer, Chief Gordy Uche (SAN), Adesomoju revealed that he has never worked at Finbank and as such he was unable to know the purpose for the deposits.
According to him, “The entries on the company’s statement of account started in March 2001 till September 2005. In 2001, I was still in the university. In 2005, I just finished youth service. I was not the one that made entries on the statement of account. I have never worked in Finbank. I did not know the origin of the drafts used in making payments to Slok account. I cannot say whether or not the drafts were paid for in cash. I did not also know the branch of the Finbank where the drafts came from. I was also not in a position to determine the purpose for the lodgements. I was not the account officer of Slok Nigeria Limited. I only read out what I can see on the document”.
Speaking further, the witness said the name of the former Abia State Governor was not mentioned in any of the entries on the statement of account.
After Adesomoju’s testimony, the prosecution later called its eleventh witness, Ayoola Oladipo, a Compliance Officer with GTBank to the witness box.
In his testimony, Oladipo tendered documents relating to the accounts of Neiya Nigeria Limited, Astel Offshore and Slok Nigeria Limited at GTBank
Under cross-examination, the witness while acknowledging that the firms were sister companies said they were at liberty to transfer funds among themselves. This, he said, is normal in business practice.