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EFCC presents another witness against Masari over alleged N104.7m fraud


Bature Masari, former Director- General, Small and Medium Enterprise and Development Agency (SMEDAN)

Court fixes Dec. 11 to hear motion in N19.4b Dasuki trial
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday presented the third witness (PW3) in the ongoing trial of former Director General of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Umar Bature Masari.

Masari, who was accused of engaging in money laundering and gratification before Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja, is standing trial in an amended 22-count charge. He was first arraigned on April 10, 2019 on a 17-count charge.

At the resumed sitting, today October 8, 2019 the witness, Remmy Ugwu, a compliance officer of Zenith Bank, while being led in evidence by counsel for the EFCC, E.E. Iheanacho told the court that he liaises with law enforcement agencies and regulators, and also attends to requests from them.

He said: “In August 2018, the EFCC submitted a request at our head office in Lagos asking for account opening document, certificate of identification, and the request was sent to me to generate the request in our Maitama office Abuja.

“I generated the requested document and forwarded to my boss in Lagos to sign the covering memo and then passed it to the EFCC office in Lagos.”

He also told the court that on November 24, 2014 the account of Engineer Habu Ozigi and one Felicia had N5, 434.76, adding: “On November 28, 2014 there was an inflow of N9m from Masari’s Diamond Bank account.

“The outflow to Abubakar Mahmud Wambai was N2.8m and another credit of N3m to Anthony Madwate. On the same day, there was a cheque with No. 462 of N140, 000, which was paid to one Engr. Habu.”

He also told the court that there was a credit of N3m to Bature’s GTB account and thereafter the judge adjourned the case to October 16, 2019 for continuation of trial and fixed November 7, 2019 for ruling on the application filed by the defence seeking to quash the charges.

Similarly, an FCT High Court in Maitama, Abuja fixed December 11, for hearing in the trial of Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd.) and four others over alleged misappropriation of N19.4b arms funds.

Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf adjourned the trial after EFCC’s Counsel, Oluwaleken Atolegbe, who held brief for Rotimi Jacob (SAN), notified the court of a motion he filed.

Dasuki, former National Security Adviser (NSA) under former President Goodluck Jonathan was arraigned alongside a former Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda, former Sokoto State Governor, Attahiru Bafarawa, his son, Sagir and his company, Dalhatu Investments Limited.

They are facing 25-count charge bordering on criminal breach of trust, misappropriation of public funds amounting to N19. 4 billion.

At the resumed hearing, Atolagbe informed the court that the case was adjourned for hearing, adding that the prosecution was ready to go on with the case as its witness was in court.

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