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I was pressured to change my statement against Suswam, says witness

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The fourth prosecution witness (PW4), Abubakar Umar, in the ongoing trial of former governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam, yesterday told Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja, that he was under pressure to change his statement to favour Suswan.

Spokesperson of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Tony Orilade, has stated.Suswam, alongside his Commissioner for Finance, Okolobia Okpanach, is being prosecuted by the EFCC before Justice Abang on a nine-count charge of money laundering and diversion of funds to the tune of N3.1 billion.

At yesterday’s hearing, the PW4, a Bureau De Change operator and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Fantfash Resources, told the court that some influential people had been calling on him, persuading him to change his statement against his former boss, Suswam.

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Umar told the court how Suswam called and instructed him to meet his lawyer, who would tell him what to do.“He called and told me to go and see his lawyer, J. P. Daudu, and when I got there, Daudu asked why I wrote my statement the way I did. I told him to ask the person who sent me to him (Suswam). Daudu then told me to leave since it is like this,” he stated.

Umar also gave account of how his account was credited with N413 million on August 8, 2014, adding that the first money that entered his account was from Elixir Investment.

The witness confessed that it took him about eight to 10 days to change the money from naira to dollars and before then, there wasn’t much money in the account.

According to him, on September 12, 2014, another N637 million was deposited into the account of Fantfash and after one or two hours, another N363 million was also deposited into the account. He said he changed the money to Dollars before taking it to Suswam.

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