The trial of a former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu, continued on Tuesday, April 11, 2017 before Justice Muhammed Idris of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, with a prosecution witness, Christiana Ohiri, Manager, United Bank for Africa, UBA, Umuahia Branch, giving more details about how some top officials in the administration of Kalu allegedly carried out various transactions with bank drafts issued by her bank.
Kalu is being prosecuted alongside his company, Slok Nigeria Limited, and his former Commissioner for Finance, Jones Ude, on a 34- count charge bordering on money laundering.
At today’s sitting, Ohiri, who is the second prosecution witness, PW2, told the court that she did not personally meet the government officials who carried out the transactions with the 36 banks drafts issued by her bank.
During re-examination by the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, she also said that the government officials were allegedly liaising with her supervisors who have now left bank.
When cross-examined by Solo Akuma, SAN, counsel to the second defendant, the witness told the court that different government officials, during the administration of Kalu allegedly approached her bank to purchase bank drafts from the Government House, Umuahia.
She stated further that a former Chief of Staff to Kalu and immediate past governor of the state, T.A. Orji and the second defendant were signatories to one of the drafts, which was tendered and admitted as exhibit B5 at yesterday’s proceedings.
After PW2 had given her evidence, Jacobs asked for an adjournment to enable him present another witness.
He said: ‘‘My Lord, I was thinking that the defence will spend more time cross-examining the second witness.’’
However, the defence counsel kicked, arguing that “it is a criminal matter that requires a day- to- day trial.’’
Jacobs also drew the attention of the court to the fact that he had never asked for an adjournment since the trial began.
Consequently, Justice Idris adjourned to April 12, 2007 for continuation of trial.
Head Media and Publicity
11 April, 2017