Daniel Luka, the nineteenth prosecution witness in the trial of a former governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako, on Tuesday, May 22, 2018 told Justice Okon Abang of Federal High Court, sitting in Miatama, Abuja how the defendant received over N134million as salary and allowances between 2007 and 2014, when he was governor.
Nyako is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, alongside his son, Senator Abdul-Aziz Nyako, Abubakar Aliyu and Zulkifikk Abba on a 37-count charge of criminal conspiracy, stealing, abuse of office and money laundering to the tune of N29billion.
Five companies that allegedly served as conduit pipes for the illegal diversion of the funds – Blue Opal Limited, Sebore Farms & Extension Limited, Pagoda Fortunes Limited, Tower Assets Management Limited and
Crust Energy Limited, were equally charged before the court as the 5th to 9th defendants.
Testifying, Luka, a chief accountant in the Office of Accountant General, Adamawa State Government, while being led in evidence by counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, stated what he knew with respect to Nyako’s salaries and allowances within the period under reference.
“The EFCC ordered the office of Accountant General of Adamawa State Government, to furnish it with documents with respect to the former governor, His Excellency, Murtala Nyako, stating his salaries and allowances that were paid to him from the year 2007 to June 2014. We did exactly as EFCC requested”, he said.
The reply letter, dated April 9, 2018 issued by the Accountant General, Adamawa State, to the Commission was tendered and admitted as ‘Exhibit L191-12.
The PW19 also told the court that all payments which included salaries and allowances of the former governor were paid into his Zenith Bank account.
When asked to state the amount paid as salaries and allowances to Nyako between 2007 and 2014, the witness said that, “When we sum the first payments from 2007 to 2011, it is about 56million, while his payments between 2012 and 2014 is about 78million”.
Speaking on ‘Exhibit L199’, Luka told the court that “from January to December 2012, Nyako was paid a total sum of N5, 825, 936. 40. Same amount of money was also paid to him the following year, 2013. When you add them up, it is approximately N11.6million”.
He went on by telling the court that in the year 2014, the total sum paid into the account of Nyako from January to June, was N2, 912, 968.20, adding that “when you add all together, it’s over N14million”.
Jacobs also asked Luka to look at exhibit A10, A17 and A18 and tell the court the posting made in favour of the defendant therein.
“I have seen the posting. The amount paid was N485, 144.70. It was his January salary for the year 2013, while in February 2013, the amount paid was N485, 194.70”.
The matter was thereafter adjourned to May 23, 2018 for cross-examination of PW19.