The Federal Government, on Tuesday, commenced the prosecution of a former governor of Imo State, Ikedi Ohakim, on charges bordering on money laundering when he held sway as the state governor.
The Federal Government, through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Tuesday, began Okakim’s trial before Justice Adeniyi Ademola of a Federal High Court in Abuja by calling its first witness.
Ohakim, who was Imo State governor between 2007 and 2011, is facing three counts of money laundering, arising from his alleged purchase of a house at Asokoro District of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) with cash payment of dollar equivalent of N270 million in November 2008.
The first prosecution witness, Mr. Dauda Ishaya, a Senior Detective Superintendent with the EFCC, appeared before Justice Ademola when the matter came up, giving his report of investigation on the charges against the former governor.
Dauda, who was led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Mr. Festus Keyamo, accused Ohakim of initially lying to be a tenant in the property until he was confronted with the statements of those who were involved in the purchase of the property at 60, Kwame Nkrumah Street, Plot No 1098, Cadastral Zone A04, Asokoro District, Abuja.
He said: “Intelligence report revealed that there was no bank transfer on purchase for that property – that was against the provisions of the Money Laundering Act.
“We took the accused person to the said property and we returned to the office. He was questioned on the same property and he said he was just a tenant in that property.
“He said he rented the house from a company called Tweenex Consciates through the Managing Director of the company called Abu Sule.”
The witness said Sule was invited by the EFCC but denied ownership of the property but went on to tell ‘the real story of what transpired.’
The case was adjourned till November 12 and 13 for continuation of trial.