How Jide Omokore bought vehicles for Akwa Ibom Senator – EFCC witness

Kakwagh Ngunan, a prosecution witness in the money laundering trial of Senator Bassey Albert by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has narrated how the lawmaker, as Commissioner for Finance in Akwa Ibom, allegedly received vehicles as gift from Jide Omokore.

Omokore’s companies were said to have executed over N3 billion contracts for the government.

The EFCC is prosecuting Albert before Justice Agatha Okeke of the Federal High Court sitting in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom capital.

He is accused of involvement in offences bordering on money laundering and being in possession of six vehicles worth N204million, allegedly given to him by Omokore.

Ngunan, an EFCC operative told prosecuting counsel, M. S. Abubakar, that her team traced about N3billion payments from the Akwa Ibom government and the Inter-Ministerial Direct Labour Coordinating Committee (IMDLCC) to the accounts of Canwod Dredging Company Limited, Bay Atlantic Limited, Sahel Engineering, Power Nigeria Limited and Network Services Nigeria Limited.

All the companies were linked to Omokore. Ngunan recalled that detectives requested for statements of bank accounts regarding the companies and invited Omokore.

The witness said Omokore informed the investigation team that the payments were for contracts executed for the Akwa Ibom State government.

She further disclosed that several documents were recovered when a search warrant was executed at his office and residence.

The documents included contract papers from the Akwa Ibom government to Network Services Nigeria Limited for the supplies of bulletproof vehicles and invoices from Skymit Limited in the name of Albert and Omokore, as well as delivery notes for the vehicles in the name of Albert.

“My team further traced monies from Omokore’s company account to the account of Skymit Limited, and when we invited Skymit to tell us the reasons for the money, we were told that it was for the purchase of vehicles.

“My investigation revealed that the accused, while he was the Commissioner for Finance and Chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Direct Labour Coordinating Committee IMDLCC. Omokore and his companies received monies from the Akwa Ibom State government and the IMDLCC. Also, that Omokore bought cars from Skymit Limited for the accused.”

The witness added that her team wrote a letter to the IMDLCC Chairman, requesting for the details of all contractors and projects carried out by the Committee but did not receive any response.

On exhibit P6, the EFCC operative said: “On page 3 is the Skymit Limited invoice in the name of Albert Bassey/Jide Omokore for six Toyota Hilux 4X4 for N36million. On pages 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 are all delivery notes and waybill from Skymit Limited for Toyota Hilux 4X4 to Albert Bassey.”

The prosecution tendered all the documents which included a search warrant; a petition from one Leo Ekpenyong dated June 8, 2015, and addressed to the Executive Chairman of EFCC; and four statements made by the accused dated August 11, 2015, September 10, 2015, May 14, 2018 and May 17, 2018.

Others are letters from Skymit Nigeria Limited addressed to the EFCC Chairman with attached invoices and delivery notes of vehicles; copies of Skymit Limited’s Skye bank statement of account; statement of bank accounts of companies linked to Omokore; and a copy of request letter from EFCC to IMDLCC.

All the documents were admitted as evidence and marked as exhibits P2 to P11.

The matter was adjourned till December 7 and 8, 2020.

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