Adoke’s $2.2m loan repayment transaction was transparent, witness tells court

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)’s witness, Mr Rislanudeen Mohammed, on Monday, said that the 2.2 million dollars transaction in respect of the liquidation of a loan former Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Bello Adoke, obtained from Unity Bank PLC was transparent.

Mohammed, a former Acting Managing Director of the bank, told Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja during a cross examination by Adoke’s lawyer, Chief Kanu Agabi, SAN.

Newsmen  reports that the court had, on July 1, adjourned until Monday for the continuation of cross examination of Mohammed who is the second witness of the anti-graft agency.

The EFCC is prosecuting Adoke and a businessman, Mr Aliyu Abubakar, on a 14-count amended criminal charge bordering on alleged money laundering and fraud.

They however pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Mohamed had, in his evidence last month, told the court how Adoke obtained a loan of N300 million from the bank and the efforts he made before Adoke could pay back the loan.

He said that the money was finally liquidated after Adoke handed him the sum of $2.2 million and when converted to naira exceeded the principal loan.

However, responding to questions from Adoke’s lawyer, Chief Agabi, the witness told the court that he did not report the transaction to the bank or relevant financial and anti-corruption agencies because the need did not arise.

He said that the $2.2m, upon receipt from Adoke, was kept with the Abuja branch manager, Mr Nura Abdullahi, after which it was handed to a Bureau de Change operator, Alhaji Usman Bello, for conversion to naira.

Mohammed further said that after its conversion, the money was then paid into Adoke’s account domiciled with the bank and subsequently used to liquidate the loan.

“I am fully aware of all the transactions in respect of the loan payment. I did not report any suspicion to the bank, EFCC, ICPC, NFIU and SSS because there was nothing suspicious.

“The bank did not reprimand me for the transaction because it was transparent and I acted as agent of the bank when I collected the money” he said.

Mohammed, who stated that there was no record of the transaction, added that Adoke did not have a dollar account for the $2.2 million to be paid into.

Earlier, the former bank acting MD admitted that his wife and daughter were shareholders of the Bureau de Change that converted the $2.2 million.

He also told the court that he knew nothing about the 2nd defendant, Aliyu Abubakar.

Another witness, Alhaji Usman Bello, in his testimony, told the court that although he had followed Mohammed to Adoke’s house, he did not see the ex-AGF.

He told the court that it was Mohammed who handed over the money to him to convert to naira.

Bello, who is the 3rd prosecution witness (PW3), said upon conversion, he paid the sum of N367, 318,800 into Adoke’s Unity Bank account.

However trial could not continue because the prosecution counsel, Mr Bala Sanga, was yet to furnished the defendants with the statement of the 4th prosecution witness, Farouk Suleiman.

The 2nd defendant’s lawyer, Olalekan Ojo, SAN, had raised objection to Suleiman’s testifying in the matter due to failure of the prosecution to avail them with the witness’s statement.

Sanga then asked for a short adjournment to enable him do the needful.

Justice Ekwo adjourned the matter until Sept. 9 for trail continuation