Sagay opened account for our firm as consultant, witness tells court
A lawyer, Chris Okafor has informed a Lagos high court, Ikeja that a consultant to the law firm of the late Mr. Mogbeyi Sagay (SAN),
(SAN) opened an Access Bank account for the smooth running of the business of the firm.
Okafor, who is a witness in the ongoing trial of two lawyers, a former head of chambers of the late SAN, Tom Awhana and Paul Okoro over alleged theft of N188.7 million belonging to the late SAN’s firm, made the statement during cross-examination by the defendant’s counsel, Robert Emukpoeruo.
The witness, however, said that he was not sure if the account was opened before the grant of letters of administration, adding that an accountant in the law firm was also a signatory to the account.
The witness, who is still working in the late SAN’s firm also denied been paid salaries by the first defendant (Ahwana) but admitted that the salaries of the law firm’s workers were paid by the late lawyer’s administrators.
“The administrators to the late lawyer’s estate paid our salaries through the first defendant. I got the information from the first defendant because sometimes he delayed the salaries saying he is waiting for them to pay.
“I can produce documents from the office to show that monies entered the first defendant’s account from the deceased estate.
“I am aware that the administrators had made demand from the first defendant of how he ran the affairs of the firm.
“I can produce a letter where the first defendant was asking for more funds to run the office,” a witness said.
The defendant’s counsel, however, urged the court for an adjournment to enable the witness to produce the documents he claimed to have.
Emukpoeruo said: “Since the question of monies for running the office is vital to the defendant’s case and the witness has given evidence that he has documents to produce, I urge your lordship for an adjournment to enable the witness to produce the documents”.
Earlier, the witness who started given evidence as to the third prosecution witness on June 26, had continued and finished his examination in chief.
He said among other things that there were payments made in favour of the deceased lawyer’s firm when he just died but the firm was not aware of the accounts until sometime in 2018 when the first defendant left the firm.
Mr. Abdulhamid Mohammed, the prosecuting counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), led him in evidence.
However, on June 26 the witness had said that the law firm had two known bank accounts, which were in Access Bank and Zenith Bank. He noted that Awhana, the first defendant was one of the four administrators of the late SAN’s estate.
The witness, however, produced the said documents at the last sitting and they were admitted in evidence by Justice Mojisola Dada, who adjourned further proceedings until September 30.