A prosecution witness, Ovie Tobore Akpoyibo, an operative of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in the ongoing trial of a former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu, on Tuesday, March 20, 2018, told Justice Muhammed Idris of the Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, that the Abia State Government House Accountant, Michael Udo Akpan, has relocated outside the country to evade arrest.
Kalu is being prosecuted alongside his company, Slok Nigeria Limited, and his former Commissioner for Finance, Jones James Udeogu, for money laundering to the tune of over N3.2bn
Led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, Akpoyibo, who is the thirteenth prosecution witness, PW13, told the court that he went to Umuahia, Abia State on several occasions to serve subpoena on Akpan, but discovered that he ( Akpan) had moved out his home.
He further told the court that he had not been able to reach Akpan, whom he described as a key witness in the matter, on the phone.
In his testimony, the witness also told the court that a younger brother to Akpan called him on the phone to inform him that Akpan had relocated to Camerooun.
“Further investigation revealed that Akpan now shuttles between Cameroun and Chad to evade arrest,’’ he added.
Also, the fourteen prosecution witness, PW14, Emojewe Eboh, a compliance officer, First City Monument Bank (FCMB), told the court that his bank received a letter from the EFCC sometime in February 2008, requesting for details of the Certificate of Identification and Statement of Account of General Venture International Limited, where Kalu and Godwin Esuma were alleged to be directors.
Eboh further told the court that the EFCC, this year, requested the bank to validate the statement from the bank.
Jacobs sought to tender the Certificate of Identification and Statement of Account of General Venture International Limited, a company linked to Kalu.
The documents were admitted in evidence as exhibits R6-R41.
Eboh also informed the court how the defendants paid various sums of money into the said company’s account.
“On September 5, 2005, six local cheques totalling N75 million were lodged into the company’s account.
“On June 3, 2005, two cheques of N102 million and N4 million were also lodged into the same account.
“On May 11, 2005, another cheque of N150 million was also lodged in Kalu’s company.”
Consequently, Justice Idris adjourned the case to March 28 and 29, 2018 for continuation of trial.