April 17, 2015 – The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) has put on trial one Mrs. Imabong Akon Esu-Nte, an accountant of the Nigerian Prison Service for laundering a total sum of N200 million into various accounts.
She was said to have connived with a two others, a businessman, Mr. Olukolade Olabamiji and a banker, Mr. Mohammed Abdulkadir to launder the money through Nigerian banks.
At the trial on Thursday, first prosecution witness, Sini Omar told the court how the prison accountant conspired with the other accused persons to launder funds from the Nigeria Prisons Service into the accounts of companies where she has interests
Omar, an Assistant Superintendent of Police with EFCC told the court that Esu-Nte used her position as prison accountant, and connived with the other accused persons to launder money from the accounts of the Nigeria Prisons Service into Royal Mall Nigeria Limited, Transferase Ventures and I.D Integrated Petroleum in the guise of executing non-existent contracts.
Omar further told the court that the first accused, Esu-Nte, was specifically questioned on how N110m and N90m was lodged into the accounts of Royal Mall Nigeria Limited (second accused) and Transferase Ventures (third accused) in January and February 2014 respectively.
When asked about the relationship between the first and the fifth accused (Esu-Nte and Mohammed Abdulkadir), Omar said both conspired to open a corporate account for the first accused in Heritage Bank in the name of I.D Integrated Petroleum Products Limited (fourth accused) with forged documents.
According to him, the mandate card has the name of Esu-Nte’s 9-year-old daughter with a photograph of an adult male, while the second mandate has a feminine name but a photograph of an adult male.
The witness told the court that the Nigeria Prisons Service never had any contract with the second and third accused.
According to EFCC, documents in support of these claims were tendered by the prosecution but their admissibility was challenged by the defence counsel, Titus O. Ashaolu, SAN who asked the court for a trial within trial to determine whether the documents were voluntarily released to the prosecution.
Justice Chukwu adjourned the case to May 20 and 21, 2015.