Alleged N6.8 billion fraud: Bank official testifies against Nigerian ex-aviation chief, others

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An official of Stanbic IBTC Bank, Ade Babatunde, on Monday told a Federal High Court, Lagos how Segun Agbolade, a former General Manager (Finance), Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, allegedly defrauded the agency.

Murtala Muhammad Airport, Lagos
Murtala Muhammad Airport, Lagos

Mr. Babatunde, while being led in evidence by the EFCC prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, made the revelations at the resumed hearing of the case before Justice Babs Kuewumi.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Mr. Oyedepo had led the witness as the first prosecution witness (PW 1) in the N6.8 billion fraud case against some former employees of NAMA.

The EFCC had arraigned the accused including NAMA’s former Managing Director, Ibrahim Abdulsalam; former General Manager of Procurement, Olumuyiwa Adegorite and Mr. Agbolade on a 21-count charge of N6.8 billion fraud.

Others are former acting General Manager of ICT, Bolaniran Akinribido; Sesebor Abiodun, Joy Adegorite and two companies- Randville Investment Ltd. and Multeng Travels and Tours Ltd.

When the case was called for continuation of hearing, Mr. Babatunde told the court how the funds belonging to NAMA were allegedly converted for personal use by the accused when Mr. Abdulsalam was at the helm of affairs.

He said that on July 13, 2015, a cash withdrawal of N3 million was made by Mr. Agbolade, (General Manager of Finance) from the account of Randville Investment Ltd.

The witness also said that on July 15, 2015, there was another withdrawal of N2.5 million from the account of Randville Investment Ltd. and same was transferred to the account of Mr. Agbolade.

“On Sept. 16, 2015, there was a credit transfer of N22 million into the account of Randville Investment Ltd.

“On September 28, 2015, N100 million was deposited in a fixed deposit account, and on maturity, same was paid into the account of Randville Investment Ltd.

“On the same date, N28 million was transferred out of the account, but I cannot confirm the beneficiary, because it was not stated in the statement of account.

“Also, on Sept. 28, 2015, N100 million was placed in another fixed deposit account.

“On Oct. 28, 2015, the N100 million earlier placed in a fixed deposit account was paid into the account of Randville Investment Ltd.

“On Nov. 2, 2015, N50 million was transferred twice from the Randville Investment Ltd. and I cannot also confirm the beneficiary, because it was not stated in the statement.

“Then, on Nov. 10, 2015, there was a withdrawal of N3 million from the account of Randville Investment Ltd. by Segun Agbolade.” the first prosecution witness told the court.

After the witness’ testimony, the defence counsel led by Wale Akanni, sought for an adjournment to enable them to cross examine the witness.

The judge granted the request and the case was adjourned till April 5 for continuation of trial.

The EFCC had on August 19, 2013, brought the accused before the court, accusing them of conspiring to induce NAMA to deliver N2.8 billion to Delosa Ltd., Air Sea Delivery Ltd. and Sea Schedules Systems Ltd.

The anti-graft agency alleged that the delivery was under the pretence that the money represented the cost of clearing NAMA’s consignments.

EFCC further alleged that between January 2 and December 17, 2013, the accused allegedly converted N191 million belonging to NAMA for their private use.

It also accused the NAMA officials of converting N728 million between 2013 and 2015 and other sums for their personal use.

The prosecution said that the offences contravened Section 8(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3).

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