The first accused person in the trial of a former Governor of Edo State, Patrick Eboigbodin on Wednesday, May, 21, 2014, told a Federal High Court sitting in Benin- City, Edo State, that, he did not sign a sum of N300 Million ( Three Hundred Million Naira only) as security payments on behalf of Governor Lucky Igbinedion.
Eboigbodin, who spoke as a defence witness at the resumed trial of the case on Wednesday, identified various payment documents currently before the court as exhibits. Some of the payments included N20 million for hosting the then President and Commander- in-Chief, N300 million for security and several other payments which he told the court were not signed by him.
"I was in charge of distributing monies like Duty Tour Allowances, Security Vote and buying of gifts as assigned by Governor Lucky Nosakhare Igbinedion. I acted on the instructions of the governor and I and Micheal did not commit any of the crimes we are being charged for", he said.
Earlier, EFCC counsel. Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, urged the court to accommodate an amended charge which the prosecution served the defence at the last court session. But defence counsel, Ricky Tafa, SAN, and Richard O. Ahonaruogo argued that one of the defendants, Chief Lucky Nosakhare Igbinedion whose name also featured in the amended charge was not in court.
After listening to the submissions of counsel, Justice A.M. Liman ruled that the defence team should continue with its submissions, and that the issue of amendment can come up after the defence have closed its case.
During cross-examination, Rotimi asked another defence witness, Michael Igbinedion, what election funds were used for and if he was aware that the former governor was supposed to submit his election expenses to INEC three months after election? In response, the witness told the court that he was not aware of any expenses meant to be submitted to INEC, but that election funds were deployed according to the ex-governor's instructions.
Justice Liman, after listening to all the submissions, adjourned the matter till Thursday, May 22, 2014.
Media & Publicity
21st May, 2014