Fraud Trial: How Ex-NBA President, Paul Usoro SAN, Acquired N1.1bn From Akwa Ibom Authorities – Witness makes revelations
The second prosecution witness, Abdulrahman Arabo, within the ongoing trial of Paul Usoro, SAN, a former President of the Nigerian Bar Affiliation, NBA, for alleged N1.4bn fraud, on has advised Justice Rilwan Aikawa of the Federal Excessive Courtroom sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos how the defendant obtained a sum of N1.1bn from the Akwa-Ibom State authorities.
Usoro was first arraigned on December 18, 2018 earlier than Justice Muslim Hassan of the identical courtroom.
He was later re-arraigned on March 1, 2019 on a 10-count cost bordering on cash laundering to the tune of N1.4bn.
One of many counts reads: “ That you just, Paul Usoro, SAN, Emmanuel Udom (presently constitutionally immune towards legal prosecution), Uwemedimo Thomas Nwoko (nonetheless at giant), Nsikan Linus Nkan, Commissioner of Finance, Akwa Ibom State (nonetheless at giant), Mfon Jacobson Udomah, Accountant-Normal, Akwa Ibom State (nonetheless at giant) and Margaret Thompson Ukpe (nonetheless at giant), someday in 2015 in Nigeria, throughout the jurisdiction of this Honourable courtroom, conspired amongst yourselves to commit an offence, to wit: conversion of the sum of N1. 410, 000, 000, 000.00 (One Billion, 4 Hundred and Ten Million Naira), the property of the Authorities of Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria, which sum you fairly should have identified varieties a part of the proceeds of illegal exercise to wit: legal breach of belief and thereby dedicated an offence opposite to Part 18(a) of the Cash Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable below Part 15(3) of the identical Act.”
He pleaded “not responsible” to the cost most well-liked towards him.
Led in proof by the prosecution counsel, Umar Buhari, on the resumed sitting, Arabo, an investigator with the EFCC, advised the courtroom that the defendant didn’t hyperlink the cash present in his account to the circumstances he claimed to be dealing with in courts.
When requested by the defence counsel, Offiong Effiong SAN, if he obtained any letter from the defendant that was addressed to the Chairman of the EFCC stating the main points of the job he did for the Akwa-Ibom State authorities and the cost obtained, Arabo answered within the affirmative.
Arabo, throughout cross-examination by the defence, additionally revealed that “there was an allegation that the defendant was laundering cash for the Akwa-Ibom State authorities, and the proof confirmed that he obtained about N1.1bn between 2015 and 2016 from the State Authorities.”
Arabo, nonetheless, denied holding the defendant until the wee hours of the night time of June 4, 2020, throughout his first go to to the EFCC workplace in Abuja.
He mentioned the delay skilled by the defendant on the mentioned day was attributable to the truth that he had been given a bail situation to satisfy and his worldwide passport was to be dropped at him on the EFCC workplace in Abuja from Lagos.
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