Justice Muhammed Idris of the Federal High Court, Ikoyi Lagos was on Tuesday told of how top public servants in the administration of ex-Governor Orji Uzor Kalu of Abia State carried out various transactions in bank drafts issued by the United Bank for Africa.
Christiana Ohiri, manager of the bank’s branch in Umuahia, the Abia State capital, who is second Persecution Witness (PW) said officials of the state government at the time carried out the transactions, using 36 bank drafts issued by her bank, during re-examination by the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
The former Abia governor is being prosecuted along with his company, Slok Nigeria Limited and former commissioner for Finance, Jones Ude, on a 34-count charge of money laundering.
Ohiri further alleged that the government officials, who she did not personally meet, liaised with her superiors who have since left the bank.
When cross-examined by Solo Akuma, SAN, counsel to the second defendant, Ohiri said the then Chief of Staff to Kalu and Kalu’s immediate successor, Theodore Orji and second defendant were signatories to one of the drafts, which was tendered in court and admitted as exhibit B5.
Asking for adjournment to enable him present another witness, Jacobs said: My Lord, I was thinking that the defence will spend more time cross-examining the second witness.”
Responding, the defence counsel argued that the case involved a “criminal matter that requires a day-to-day trial.”
Having argued that he had never sought adjournment since the trial started, Justice Idris adjourned the case to Wednesday, April 12 for continuation of trial.