N3.1bn fraud: Court admits more evidence against Suswam
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has admitted more documents, presented by the prosecution in evidence in its case against former governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam and his ex-commissioner of Finance, Omodachi Okolobia.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is prosecuting Suswam and Okolobia on nine-counts bordering on money laundering and diversion of funds to the tune of N3.1 billion naira.
The judge, Justice Okon Abang, admitted the documents after ruling out the objection by defence, which he said lacked merit.
Commenting on one of the documents, dated September 12, 2014, being a letter issued by Benue Investment and Property Company Ltd (BIPC) and captioned “Board Resolution”, Justice Abang said the document was original and that the witness had fulfilled conditions under Section 83 (I) of the Evidence Act, by having personal knowledge of the document and can be cross examined on it.
He further stated that the document was relevant; adding that it is primary evidence which makes it the best evidence the prosecution can produce.
On the letters dated September 10, 2014, October 21, 2014 and June 20, 2014, issued by Merit Security Ltd and addressed to the managing director of BIPC which the defence argued were photocopies with no proper idea on the whereabouts of the originals, Justice Abang ruled that the documents presented were certified true copies of the original and that they are secondary evidence of the original document which are admissible under Section 89(e) and 90(I)(c) of the Evidence Act.
The case was adjourned till November 4, 5, 6 and 7, 2019 for continuation of trial.