How Businessman Defrauded Kwara Govt. Of N227M, Witness Tells Court
A prosecution witness of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC), Funmilola Adejulu today Monday told an Ikeja High Court, Lagos, how a Lagos based business man Mohammed Gobir and his company Mondial Defence Systems Limited stole the sum of N227 million from the Kwara State Government.
Mohammed Gobir is standing trial on five count charge borders on stealing, forgery and dishonestly converting monies entrusted to him for the purchase of three units of Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) by the Kwara State Government, a charge preferred against him by the EFCC.
The 55-year-old Kwara State indigene, had earlier pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Led in evidence by the Prosecution Counsel, Zainab Ettuh, the witness Adejulu, told the court presided by Justice Josephine Oyefeso how a petition date October 21, 2015 was received by the Commission from one William Ezenwa.
Funmilola Adejulu, who works as an operative with the EFCC is the third prosecution witness in the ongoing trial.
The witness said the petitioner alleged that the defendant, Mohammed Gobir under false pretense obtained the sum of 796.61USD from him under false pretense.
She further told the court that the petitioner, who is a Country Manager of T.A.G4 Armour Nigeria Limited, a sister company to The Armour Group based in USA, alleged that his company entered into an agreement to procure three units of Armour Personnel Carriers (APC) for Oyo State government and how he paid the sum of 300USD and refused to pay an outstanding of 146.964USD.
“The petitioner also alleged that while the Oyo State transaction was ongoing, the defendant informed him to produce another five APC for Kwara State Government which he later reduced to three.
“We also sent the identification number of the three vehicles he requested for, so as to enable him to process the end users certificate, but the defendant did not pay for the three APC, neither did he pay for the balance of the Oyo State government APC.
Adejulu further told the court that the complainant was invited to come and adopt his petition which he did.
“We wrote to Kwara State Government, Wema Bank, RT Capital Management and the National Security Adviser and they all responded.
“The Kwara State Government responded to the letter dated February 25, 2016.
In the letter, Kwara Government stated that the letter of contract forwarded to them was different from the ones they have in their file which was the one they gave to the defendant. They also confirmed that the dates were tampered with.
“Their letter also confirmed that they awarded a contract to the defendant to supply three units of Armour Personnel Carriers and the sum of two hundred and seventy-seven million was fully paid to him between October 2912-July 2013.
The witness further told the court that Kwara State Government confirmed that Gobir did not deliver the APC and several demands for him to deliver the three units APC yielded no response from him.
“Kwara state government also confirmed that they contacted the Ministry of Justice to help them get the defendant to supply the APC or return the fund.
The prosecution witness also told the court that the defendant was also invited by the commission and he volunteered a statement to her and a another team member identified as Danladi.
Adejulu said when Gobir was confronted with the petition, he responded in writing.
“He admitted that Kwara government gave him a contract and that the money was fully paid. He also mentioned that he bought the three vehicles as well as the end users certificate, while he also admitted that the vehicles were not delivered yet.
He however, mentioned in his statement that he did not engage the Armour Group to produce the three APC and that the production was being handled by a Dubai company, though he could not produce any document relating to the Dubai company and the said APC” she said.
According to Adejulu, the commission also contacted a director in Kwara State government, one Alhaji Umar Kayode Sidiq, who reported to the commission.
“Sidiq confirmed that Kwara state government awarded the contract to Gobir at the sum of two hundred and seventy-seven million naira and he was fully paid.
“She said the director told the commission that the defendant did not deliver the APC and he was only responding via phone that he was working on it.
“The Commission also got a response from Wema Bank that the said amount was received from Kwara State government and his bank statements shows that the defendant moved funds at different times to different Bureau’re changes which includes; Mua BDC, Binbahun BDC, CP Express limited and RT Capital management.
“The General Manager of RT Management, Juli Ola also responded to our letter.
Juli said they received the fund from the defendant and upon his instruction, the monies were converted to dollars and transferred into his personal bank account in London.
The witness further narrated to the court how National Security Adviser also replied the Commission by confirming that the three APC identification registration numbers gotten by Gobir for the Nigerian Police, Kwara State was genuine as to the end users certificate that was produced which has the defendant as the vendor.
The trial however could not go on due to the fact that the prosecution did not serve the letter which the NSA wrote to EFCC on the defendant’s counsel.
Justice Oyefeso ordered the prosecution to serve the defence counsel with the necessary documents.
She thereafter adjourned the matter until September 13, 2018 for continuation of trial.