Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Money Laundering: Ohakim Gave Me $2.29m to Buy Mansion, Star Witness Tells Court

The ongoing trial of former governor of Imo state, Mr. Ikedi Ohakim may have taken a new turn as a star witness of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC), Mr. Abu Sule, yesterday, narrated before the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, how Ohakim gave him $2.29millon at night to help him acquire a mansion in Abuja. The witness is the Managing Director of Tweenex Consciates Limited, a company EFCC is insisting was used by Ohakim to launder funds that were allegedly stolen from the Imo state treasury.

According to the witness, Ohakim had approached him with the intention to buy a choice property in Abuja and it was while on a search mission he discovered that a mansion situated at No. 60, Kwame Nkrumah Street, Asokoro , was put up for sale by the owner, one Alhaji Muktari Isah MaiDebino , for a price of N270million.
In his words, the witness said: “I quickly informed Chief Ohakim about the house and the price it was going for. He asked me to come for the money. When I got there, he gave me the the dollar equivalent of the money. He gave me $2.29m in cash. I collected the money from him at the Imo State governor’s lodge in Asokoro, at night. The money was paid in one tranche.

“The following day I called Alhaji Muktari Maidebino and we met at Unity Bank in Maitama were he collected the money and handed over the documents of the house. He used the money to offset a loan he collected from the bank where he retrieved the documents. My lord, when I collected the original title deeds, I informed Chief Ohakim. After a bit of delay, he said I should use my companies two names for the Deed of Assignment and Power of Attorney.
“Because he has been my benefactor, I went ahead and did the documents as he requested. The house was never given to me as a gift. I handed the originals of the documents to Chief Ohakim even though I kept the photocopies. I was the one that signed the documents. After we perfected the purchase, we used about one and half years to renovate the house, after which we handed it over to him in 2012”. The witness further told the court that Ohakim on parking into the mansion, persuaded him to prepare a tenancy agreement to make it look like he(Ohakim) rented the mansion from Tweenex Consciates Limited.

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