How Usoro was paid N700m in alleged fraud, by witness
A prosecution witness in an alleged N1.4b money laundering case involving Paul Usoro, President, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Udom Idongesit, yesterday told Justice Rilwan Aikawa of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos how she paid N700m into Usoro’s account.
He told the court that the money was paid to the NBA President on the instruction of a former Accountant General of Akwa Ibom State, Linus Nkan.
Usoro was first arraigned before Justice Muslim Hassan of the same court on December 18, 2018, and later arraigned on Friday, March 1, 2019 before Justice Aikawa on a 10- count charge.
At yesterday’s sitting, Idongesit, a Relations Manager at the Aka Road branch of Zenith Bank in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, told the court that the bank on March 10, 2016, was given a withdrawal instrument of N700m on the impress account of Akwa Ibom State payable to Usoro’s Zenith Bank account.
Led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, the witness further said she made moves to get Usoro to open an account with the bank so that the money could be paid to him.
He also told the court that she opened an account for the defendant due to the fact he never had an account with the bank prior to that transaction.
She said she got Usoro’s contact from Governor Udom Emmanuel on March 14, 2016, and later called him to inform him about the payment.
Giving further testimony, Idongesit said, “Paul Usoro instructed me to work with two of his colleagues. When I confirmed the exact names on the form, I sought the approval of my Zonal Head to open the account and also made the deposit, while waiting for documentation.
“I filled the deposit slip and filled Usoro’s name as the depositor of the fund.”
Idongesit further told the court that N300m was first credited to the account on March 14, 2016, in cash and that another N400m was credited to the account.
The transactions, she added, were carried out on the instructions of the defendant, saying that monies were transferred to individuals and companies from the defendant’s account on his instructions.
“On March 22, 2016, Mr. Paul Usoro instructed me to transfer N2.5m to one Assam Ekanem; N7.5m to Taiwo Oyetibo & Co; N7.5m to Oyechi Ipeaza; N5m to Uzuegbu Nelson Aju; N30m to OEB Offiong and N7.5m to DD Dodo & Co.
“A transfer of N3m was also made to one Reginald Nwobbi; N2m to Sevanne Chambers and N20m to Theophilus Oyesanya,” she stated.
Justice Aikawa adjourned the case till January 13 and February 11 and 12, 2020 for further hearing.
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