How officials under Ex-gov's administration withdrew huge money from govt account, banker reveals

The witness, who is a UBA staff, said the officials routinely withdrew several millions of Naira and used it to buy bank drafts in favour of Inland Bank Plc.

Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, former governor of Abia state

Ohiri, a staff of United Bank for Africa (UBA) told the Lagos Federal High Court that the officials would withdraw the money and use same to buy bank drafts in favour of Inland Bank Plc.

He stated this on Monday, April 10, while testifying before the court in the prosecution case Chief Orji Uzor Kalu, who was the Abia State Governor at the time.

Kalu is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over an alleged fraud of N2.9 billion.

The Ex-Governor is facing 34 counts bordering on conspiracy and money laundering.

He is standing trial alongside Udeh Udeogu and Slok Nigeria Limited.

Ohiri is the second prosecution witness.

The bank staff presented as evidence the the statement of account of the Abia State Government House domiciled at the Umuahia branch of UBA and a list of 36 bank drafts.

The witness matched several withdrawals from the account with corresponding bank drafts purchased.

Led in evidence by the EFCC prosecutor, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), Ohiri also identified two of the state government workers who came to make withdrawals from the account.

She listed their names as Jones Udeogu, Mr. R.K. Madu, saying "there would have been one or two others but I can’t recall their names."

The witness said Madu made two withdrawals of N15 million and N26 from the state house’s account on August 2, 2005, went ahead to buy bank drafts in the same amounts in favour of Inland Bank Plc.

Also on on June 6, 2005, she said Madu withdrew N19.5 million and N21.5 million and used same to purchase bank drafts.

Again, Madu on April 7, 2005, allegedly withdrew N25 million and N15 million from the  account and subsequently used same to purchase bank drafts.

According to her, other state house officials,  who purchased drafts are  Oke Udeh, Oke Nwancukwu, Johnson Okoro, J.O. kanayo and I.D. Okoro.

When Kalu’s lawyer, Mr. Gordy Uche (SAN) cross-examined the witness, asking whether the ex0governor's name appeared anywhere in the transactions,  she said Kalu;s name did not feature on the papers.

She also noted that the names of the beneficiaries of the purchased bank drafts did not reflect on the documents.

Further proceedings in the case was adjourned till Tuesday, April 11.

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