Hearing on a corruption case involving a former Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Usman O. Jibrin and two others: Rear Admiral Bala Mshelia (rtd) and Rear Admiral Shehu Ahmadu (rtd) got underway on Tuesday, November 15, 2016 before Justice A. S. Umar of the FCT High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, presenting its first witness, Shehu Mohammed Ala.
Ala, an operative of the EFCC while being led in evidence by the prosecuting counsel, Joseph O. Uzor told the court that the former naval chief laundered N600 million from the account of the Nigerian Naval Engineering Services Limited.
Ala said: “In August 2010, the EFCC received a petition on a fixed sum of money in Petrus Ogu Nigeria Limited domiciled with Diamond Bank Plc. I was given the task of investigating the petition.”
Swinging into action, Ala told the court that he immediately wrote to Diamond Bank in respect of Petrus Ogu account.
He noted that the response, which was prompt, showed that, the sum of N600million was on March 13, 2014 transferred to the Diamond Bank account by the Nigerian Naval Engineering Services Limited which was done by the second and third defendant (Mshelia and Ahmadu), who were then the signatories to the account.
“We invited the second and third defendant for questioning. In the course of our interaction with them, they told us that, the ex-naval chief (Jibrin) told them to do so.
“We then wrote to Petrus Ogu Nigeria Limited where the money was deposited. Mr. Peter Ogu, who was the signatory to the account at Diamond Bank said that, the money in the account was used by the first defendant to purchase the property at No.7, Colorado Close, Maitama, Abuja”, Ala stated.
Supporting documents including: power of attorney, statement of account and proof of evidence were presented by the prosecuting counsel and admitted as exhibits A1 – A3.
Though, its admissibility was objected by the Jibrin’s counsel, Y.C. Maikyau, SAN, his objection was overruled and the documents were admitted in evidence.
The PW1 went on to explain to the court how investigation was conducted on Habour Bay International Limited, a company he said was linked to Jibrin.
According to him, “Habour Bay International Limited has Mrs. Lami Jibrin (wife of the first defendant) as the director and his (Jibrin) son, a top member of company.”
Investigations, he insisted, established that the name of the company (Harbour Bay) was used for the purchase of the property at No.7, Colorado Close, Maitama, Abuja.
Under cross-examination by Maikyau, Ala maintained that the ex-Naval Chief ordered the transfer of N600million to Petrus Ogu account which he used to purchase the alleged property at No.7 Colorado close Maitama, Abuja.
The case has been adjourned to December 6, 2016 for continuation of trial.