Money Laundering: Ohakim gave me $2.29m to buy mansion, witness tells court
ABUJA—A star witness of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mr. Abu Sule, yesterday, narrated before the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, how former governor of Imo state, Mr. Ikedi Ohakim, gave him $2.29millon at night, to help him acquire a mansion in Abuja.
The witness, who testified as the PW-2 yesterday, told the court that he was the Managing Director of Tweenex Consciates Limited, a company the anti-graft agency insisted was used by the former governor to launder funds that were allegedly stolen from the Imo state treasury.
In his Evidence-in-chief, Mr. Sule, narrated how Ohakim approached him, expressing his intention to buy a choice property in Abuja.
The witness said he immediately embarked on a search mission, following which he discovered that a mansion situated at No. 60, Kwame Nkrumah Street, Asokoro , was put up for sale by the owner, one Alhaji Muktari Isah MaiDebino , for a price of N270million.
“I quickly informed Chief Ohakim about the house and the price it was going for. He asked me to come for the money. When I got there, he gave me the the dollar equivalent of the money. He gave me $2.29m in cash.
“I collected the money from him at the Imo State governor’s lodge in Asokoro, at night. The money was paid in one tranche.
“The following day I called Alhaji Muktari Maidebino and we met at Unity Bank in Maitama were he collected the money and handed over the documents of the house. He used the money to offset a loan he collected from the bank where he retrieved the documents”.
The witness told the court that in a bid to conceal the real identity of the owner of the house, Ohakim, instructed that the property should be registered in the name of a company.
He said: “My lord, when I collected the original title deeds, I informed Chief Ohakim. After a bit of delay, he said I should use my companies two names for the Deed of Assignment and Power of Attorney.
“Because he has been my benefactor, I went ahead and did the documents as he requested. The house was never given to me as a gift. I handed the originals of the documents to Chief Ohakim even though I kept the photocopies. I was the one that signed the documents.
“After we perfected the purchase, we used about one and half years to renovate the house, after which we handed it over to him in 2012”, the witness added.
He told the court that before Ohakim parked into the house, he persuaded him to prepare a tenancy agreement to make it look like he rented the mansion from Tweenex Consciates Limited.